PDA

View Full Version : Potato safety question



deniseannsc
11-09-2006, 06:45 PM
I boiled a huge pot of red potatoes this morning to make potato salad later today. I had to go out and left the cooked potatoes on the sink to cool. I ended up not cooking tonight and forgot all about the potatoes. Since they have been on the sink for about 8 hours, are they still safe to eat? Would you go ahead with making the potato salad and put it in the fridge for tomorrow?

THANKS!!!

sneezles
11-09-2006, 06:51 PM
Would you go ahead with making the potato salad and put it in the fridge for tomorrow?

THANKS!!!

No, I wouldn't use them for potato salad...au gratin or scalloped maybe, JMHO.

Clover
11-09-2006, 08:08 PM
I think they'd be safe to use. They're just plain boiled potatoes with no other ingredients. They weren't refrigerated before they were cooked. If for some reason I felt like eating a cold boiled potato, I wouldn't hesitate at all to eat one of them.

spudugan
11-09-2006, 08:09 PM
I would go ahead and use them also.

sneezles
11-09-2006, 08:17 PM
A cooked potato has a neutral pH factor making it an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms...potatoes are cheap...food poisoning can be deadly...your call!

Canice
11-09-2006, 08:17 PM
I don't see the risk. ?

sneezles
11-09-2006, 08:23 PM
I don't see the risk. ?

Was the sink sterilized before the potatoes were left there to sit all day? Think back to petri dish experiments...a cooked potato is a breeding ground when left at room temp. A baked potato wrapped in foil is even worse...even though it may be refrigerated!

Canice
11-09-2006, 08:33 PM
Heh. Well, I did say I didn't see the risk...and now I do! (Though I didn't quite get the "on the sink" part - I was thinking sitting in a colander in the sink, though it sounds like that's immaterial here anyhow.)

I used to be so paranoid about every aspect of food safety, and have gotten increasingly cavalier (well, not cavalier really) over time. Maybe time for me to pull back the other way again.

sneezles
11-09-2006, 08:36 PM
Having recently taken the food safety management course for working in a restaurant I'm anything but cavalier about food safety these days! ;) That aside potatoes are one of the worst/best breeding ground for bacteria once they are cooked. chances are the colander wasn't sterlized either! ;)

deniseannsc
11-09-2006, 08:47 PM
Thank you all for your replies. I went with sneezles input and threw them away. After her first comment I googled potatoes and found everything she said in her other posts. Potatoes can be deadly - especially cooked, left out, and wrapped in foil. To further clarify my situation, I boiled the potatoes and drained them. I left them in the pot and placed them on the kitchen counter next to the sink. About 8 hours later I remembered I left them out. When I went to peel them they were room temp - and it's been around 75/78 all day.

So yeah - they're gone. I'll cook some more tomorrow. I'll also be making the Balsamic-Glazed Chicken and Bell Pepper Sandwiches to go with the potato salad.

dreamer
11-09-2006, 09:46 PM
Was the sink sterilized before the potatoes were left there to sit all day? Think back to petri dish experiments...a cooked potato is a breeding ground when left at room temp. A baked potato wrapped in foil is even worse...even though it may be refrigerated!
Sneezles, I wasn't clear on that last part- if you have a freshly baked potato in foil, and then put it in the fridge right away, would that be a problem?
-dreamer

ADM
11-10-2006, 08:13 AM
Having recently taken the food safety management course for working in a restaurant I'm anything but cavalier about food safety these days! ;) That aside potatoes are one of the worst/best breeding ground for bacteria once they are cooked.

Restuarants wrap potatoes in foil, bake them in the late afternoon and keep them warm for several hours. :eek: Should we (do you?) order something different?

PattiA
11-10-2006, 08:25 AM
If they are held within the safe temp zone (below 41 or above 140), there is no issue. If the temp falls in the danger zone (between 41 and 140) , that's when the bacteria start partying.

ADM
11-10-2006, 08:46 AM
If they are held within the safe temp zone (below 41 or above 140), there is no issue.

I understand that. But how would we know? Should we play it safe, or should we ignore and live on the edge? :)

spudugan
11-10-2006, 09:11 AM
OK...so i guess overnight is bad, bad, bad. My aversion to wasting anything may have temporarily trumped commensense huh? :rolleyes: Cost of some spuds wouldn't begin to cover even a little copay to the doctor so yeah...it makes sense to toss. But for a more general query....how is it that other countries can as a general course leave raw meat & fish out and hanging for hours in open markets with flies, etc and not routinely succumb to some horrible deadly illness? do we have more bacterial microorganisms here? That wouldn't necessarily surprise me. It just seems we Americans take such polar positions on stuff like this...either we are OVERLY anal about it....or horrendously lax about cross-contamination, etc especially in restaurant environments

sneezles
11-10-2006, 10:18 AM
Restuarants wrap potatoes in foil, bake them in the late afternoon and keep them warm for several hours. :eek: Should we (do you?) order something different?

Potatoes should not be wrapped in foil and baked as that is the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms. Potatoes baked and wrapped after baking aren't bad if held at the correct temp (in Texas it is below 41 and at or above 135 degrees). Potatoes should be held at 135 (again this is for Texas, every state has their own rules), holding it above 135 is going to overcook the potato (ever get a slightly dark baked potato?

There is also time only as public health control where an item can be held for 4 hours without regard to temp but then any leftovers must be discarded. Some restaurants bake the potatoes in the late afternoon and then use time as public health control. These potatoes are mostly zapped before plating (which usually involves placing foil around the potato when plating).

In a restaurant I ask for my baked to come to the table undressed :eek: ;) so that I can see the condition of the potato. If it's the least bit brown I'll ask for another or go without...

veschke
11-10-2006, 10:38 AM
But for a more general query....how is it that other countries can as a general course leave raw meat & fish out and hanging for hours in open markets with flies, etc and not routinely succumb to some horrible deadly illness?

People (particularly children) in such countries fairly often *do* succumb to horrible deadly illnesses. Check around the World Health Organization's site a bit for unpleasant factoids.