A Student leaves a Steak Quesadilla out for 18 hours - still good?

theWUbear

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It's a clinical case question I'm seeing in a microbio review book

The student left it out in his room overnight - puts it in the freezer in the morning, is willing to microwave it thoroughly later. still good? or best to throw it out?
 
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What I remember hearing is it generally takes ~4 hours of being within "growth range" temperature to reach log phase growth. Not wanting to risk food poisoning, I generally avoid food that's been left out that long. If it's a spore/exotoxin producer, the microwave may not sterilize it
 

Planes2Doc

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I was once defrosting chicken in the kitchen (before I started using the fridge) and realized I left it out for around that amount of time. This was the individually sealed chicken breasts from Costco, so they are vacuum sealed.

I threw it in the fridge when I realized I did that. The next day I cut open the seal, and I was overpowered by one of the worst smells imaginable. I had to quadruple bag it and then throw it in the trash.

I hope this might shed some light on your question.
 

notbobtrustme

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was it already cooked? If so, then it should be fine. I keep a pot of chili out at room temperature for 3-4 days after it's been cooked for over a year now and nothing has happened to me!
 

Porfirio

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It's a clinical case question I'm seeing in a microbio review book

The student left it out in his room overnight - puts it in the freezer in the morning, is willing to microwave it thoroughly later. still good? or best to throw it out?
Was the steak quesadilla from Tacobell? If so, hellz to the no.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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Was the steak quesadilla from Tacobell? If so, hellz to the no.
Whoa you mean hellz to the yes...the stuff from taco bell is half plastic anyway, it could probably survive a nuclear explosion.
 

JGimpel

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A toaster oven is the most gansta thing you can have because it can revive almost anything. If it's from Taco Bell, you could nuke it after tossing it in your trunk for a week and it should still be OK.
 
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theWUbear

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Yeah, it was taco bell by the way (will post any GI abnormalities for science next couple days).

OK, here's another twist on the question.

A patient leaves a McDonals Apple Pie in his car for two days. But it's snowing pretty much the entirety of those two days, and the temperature is below freezing.

The patient takes the Apple Pie out of the car and puts it in his freezer for about a month.

Still good if microwaved? Throw it out?
 

tco

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This is an example of where the textbook answer and the real-world answer are two different things.

The textbook answer is to throw it away. There's no need to risk personal harm for a $7 quesadilla.

However, if it's running late in the semester and the brilliant folks at the financial aid department shorted this student around $600 because they claim that he didn't have an expense that he did (not that I'm using real life examples or anything), he most definitely would risk eating the microbe infested main course to save a couple of bucks. My advice - heat it to around 200 for an extended period of time rather than very hot for a short period of time.
 

Wordead

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The medical student should toss it away and go steal food from his or her school instead of risking bloody diarrhea (more than regular taco bell, anyway) to save $2.
 

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Bro I once ate some 3 day old room temp leftover Dominos from a house party. Just ripped off the moldy parts, nuked it, and went to town.

No, I don't do it on the regular, but I was in college and had <$15 in my wallet.

So to me, that 18 hr quesadilla sounds like some Michelin star rated goodness.
 

notbobtrustme

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I also didn't read that it was frozen again. Freezing kills 95-99% of all bacteria as well because the formation of water crystals shatters their plasma membranes.

Like a previous poster said, the textbook answer is to throw it away, but honestly, eating it won't do you any harm.
 

surftheiop

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I suck at microbio, but isnt the point that something like s. aureus can make toxin in the food and then no matter how times you freeze/cook it you will still get sick?
 

notbobtrustme

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I suck at microbio, but isnt the point that something like s. aureus can make toxin in the food and then no matter how times you freeze/cook it you will still get sick?
Cooking will denature most toxins unless they are metabolic toxins and not proteinacious.
 
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Cooking will denature most toxins unless they are metabolic toxins and not proteinacious.
According to the FDA and the CDC, the exotoxin from Staph aureus cannot be denatured by cooking.

I think some of you are misunderstanding microbiology. Just because every food item that's left out for a while isn't infected with bacteria every time, doesn't mean it's safe to eat. People still eat cake batter and most of them are perfectly fine, but cake batter, with raw eggs, CAN make you sick. Just because you ate that 30-day-old hot dog you found buried in the trunk of your car and lived to tell about it, doesn't mean that a quesadilla left out for 18 hours won't make the OP (or anyone else) sick. If you're comfortable taking the risk, that's fine. Say that and move on, but to say nothing will happen and imply that it's perfectly safe is inaccurate.
 

notbobtrustme

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According to the FDA and the CDC, the exotoxin from Staph aureus cannot be denatured by cooking.

I think some of you are misunderstanding microbiology. Just because every food item that's left out for a while isn't infected with bacteria every time, doesn't mean it's safe to eat. People still eat cake batter and most of them are perfectly fine, but cake batter, with raw eggs, CAN make you sick. Just because you ate that 30-day-old hot dog you found buried in the trunk of your car and lived to tell about it, doesn't mean that a quesadilla left out for 18 hours won't make the OP (or anyone else) sick. If you're comfortable taking the risk, that's fine. Say that and move on, but to say nothing will happen and imply that it's perfectly safe is inaccurate.
yep, I understand all that (I was getting a PhD in microbiology before medical school) and I can say that most fears about left-out food are overblown.
 

DrWily

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I eat a lot of stuff I'm probably not supposed to. But I just get the runs and move on. I'm still alive. awww yea
 
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Staph Aureus? Only one way to find out!

Microwave though...hmmm...
 
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theWUbear

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Yeah, it was taco bell by the way (will post any GI abnormalities for science next couple days).

OK, here's another twist on the question.

A patient leaves a McDonals Apple Pie in his car for two days. But it's snowing pretty much the entirety of those two days, and the temperature is below freezing.

The patient takes the Apple Pie out of the car and puts it in his freezer for about a month.

Still good if microwaved? Throw it out?

Ate the quesadilla before posting that ^^^^ - only regret: only 4 fire sauce packets used.

Just ate the Apple Pie i bought a month ago - YOLO
 

evilbooyaa

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I have no issues drinking milk 2 weeks past its expiration date (as long as it doesn't smell funky) so what you described sounds like a walk in the park to me.
 

45408

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Was the steak quesadilla from Tacobell? If so, hellz to the no.
there are so many preservatives in there that it's probably the safest thing to eat. I once found a soft taco in my coat pocket after it had been there a few years. still pretty much intact.
 

FIREitUP

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there are so many preservatives in there that it's probably the safest thing to eat. I once found a soft taco in my coat pocket after it had been there a few years. still pretty much intact.
still good?
 

yehhhboiii

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there are so many preservatives in there that it's probably the safest thing to eat. I once found a soft taco in my coat pocket after it had been there a few years. still pretty much intact.
How did it taste?
 

Astharia

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there are so many preservatives in there that it's probably the safest thing to eat. I once found a soft taco in my coat pocket after it had been there a few years. still pretty much intact.
Wait... Who puts food in their coat pocket?:laugh:
 

chemsmith

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If true gunner, medical student should let the quesadilla sit out another 8-12 hours, then heat it and offer it to a fellow medical student (preferably before a test) saying "dude, I just made some dank quesadillas, want one?"
 

Didierdrogba

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It's a clinical case question I'm seeing in a microbio review book

The student left it out in his room overnight - puts it in the freezer in the morning, is willing to microwave it thoroughly later. still good? or best to throw it out?
Depends on where you live. If this happens in Florida or South Carolina during the summer, then no, don't eat it. If in Arizona during the winter, then it's definitely ok
 

jm192

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All taco bell food has a max shelf life of 12 hours.

If this were Q'doba or Chipotle or Moe's, you've got a full 24 hours.
 

Medstart108

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It's a clinical case question I'm seeing in a microbio review book

The student left it out in his room overnight - puts it in the freezer in the morning, is willing to microwave it thoroughly later. still good? or best to throw it out?
Oh of course i would definitely eat it. To let a steak quesadilla go to waste is blasphemy!
 

addo

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medical student eats nothing but quesadillas that have been out for 18 hours... the aging of the cheese and a little extra fermentation improves flavor
 

Silent Cool

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It's a clinical case question I'm seeing in a microbio review book

The student left it out in his room overnight - puts it in the freezer in the morning, is willing to microwave it thoroughly later. still good? or best to throw it out?
Microwave that **** and zap the DNA. Then eat it. Good as new :)
 

e30ftw

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depends how hungover you are.

i say eat that ****.
 

Coffee Machine

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I accidentally left a steak overnight in my car in 80 degree weather. Only realized my mistake ~24 hrs after the fact. I seared it at high heat on all sides and ate it. No ill effects.
 
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If true gunner, medical student should let the quesadilla sit out another 8-12 hours, then heat it and offer it to a fellow medical student (preferably before a test) saying "dude, I just made some dank quesadillas, want one?"
:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

Jonari

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there are so many preservatives in there that it's probably the safest thing to eat. I once found a soft taco in my coat pocket after it had been there a few years. still pretty much intact.
:hsugh:
 

beBrave

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It's a clinical case question I'm seeing in a microbio review book

The student left it out in his room overnight - puts it in the freezer in the morning, is willing to microwave it thoroughly later. still good? or best to throw it out?
In the context of the question, I guess the general consensus is that he should not eat it however if he did based on the criteria provided, it is unlikely that food poisoning or any illness would occur within that time frame and under those conditions.

Answer: still good but best to throw it out.