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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?
 

loveoforganic2

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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
 
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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.
 

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.
 
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MrDocMD

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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.
 

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
 
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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
 

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!
 

Wordead

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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.

So%20Hardcore.jpg
 

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.
 
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