Safe to eat?

Does leaving your Thanksgiving turkey out of the fridge overnight make it inedible today?

This author says no.

The internet, on the other hand, disagrees with me.

Like this Wiki Answers post that says, “Toss it out..Turkey spoils quickly..Don’t eat it!” But who wrote that anyway?

Unfortunately, if you Google further — most answers are similar.

But riddle me this: what are immune systems for, if not to protect from post-Thanksgiving bacteria so you can enjoy your leftover turkey-cran sandwich?

Stay tuned. I may pay for this later.

Alexandra Garretón

Alexandra Garreton, 26, enjoys living in a neighborhood where she can use her Spanish on a daily basis. Garreton moved to the Mission in August, and has been intrigued by the welcoming nature of the eclectic...

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1 Comment

  1. It’s not necessarily dangerous now– but leaving it out overnight means you’ve radically cut down on how long it’ll stay safe even after you start refrigerating it. Remember: refrigeration does not stop decay; it merely slows it. You’ve just given it many hours at room temperature for all the decay organisms to establish FINE base camps– and even if you’re ordinarily paranoid about handling poultry safely, there’s no reason to expect everyone ELSE who was in and out of the kitchen all day yesterday was. Nor can you necessarily count on your immune system to handle everything; a strong immune system will lower the chance of your keeling over from (for instance) a Listeria infection, but there are some things bacteria excrete into food (notably the Shiga-like toxins characteristic of E. coli O157:H7) that just straight-up poison you.

    I’d suggesting freezing any meat you’re not going to eat this very instant. (If you left the gravy out, toss it right now.)

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