Left fridge door slightly open overnight, pork butt at 53 degrees!!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tom sanderson, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. tom sanderson

    tom sanderson Newbie

    Hey guys, I made a rookie mistake and didn't fully close the door to the fridge last night. I had a pork butt in there overnight, ready to go for this morning, and because the door wasn't sealed, I thought I should take the temp to be sure. The temp of the butt ranged between 51 and 53 degrees.

    I'm guessing that it's unsafe to use this butt??

    Thanks for the advice guys!
  2. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    I would not chance it. Above 40* for more than 2 hours is a no-go. Toss it and live to smoke another day. David.
  3. tom sanderson

    tom sanderson Newbie

    Thanks David, we've decided to live to smoke another day, lol. We'll get a new butt for tomorrow! Like you said, not worth getting sick over $20.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The interior of whole muscle meats is considered sterile...   Bacteria is on the outside surface of a whole muscle "roast" as long as it hasn't been poked, prodded, injected etc...   From the chart below, one can see the optimum temperature for bacterial growth is ~80-115 deg. F...  minimums are around 40.....   All things considered, placing that roast in a 225 or higher temp cooking device there "should" be no problem...   BUT, food safety, like you mention, for $20, why take a chance..   That's the same decision I would come to...   toss it.....

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  5. tom sanderson

    tom sanderson Newbie

    Thanks Dave, great information! That chart was very interesting!
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'd like to hear what JJ has to say about this.

    Don't pitch it until you hear from him.

    He should be on shortly.

  7. tom sanderson

    tom sanderson Newbie

    Sounds good Al! It's still sitting in the now fully closed fridge, lol.
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I PM'd JJ yesterday, hopefully he will be on this morning to answer this.

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I was away so seeing this a little late.

    " Ready to go " If this was Rubbed and resting. The Salt/Sugar goes a long way toward inhibiting bacterial growth even at 13°F over 40. There is no mention of Injection, so I will figure it is intact. Daves Chart shows Temps various Bacteria survive at. Little to no growth at 40°F or less. If at 36° in the refer, the Butt takes a 7 days to spoil. Would you think, some 8 hours later, the meat is at 53°F so there is so much Bacterial growth that the meat is a DEP Super Site? Not likely... Bottom line, the temp rose slowly over the next few hours until it reached 53°. Did bacteria grow? Probably. But barring rotting to the point that the meat stinks and it is obvious it went bad, a good washing followed by a Salty Rub and Smoking over 200°F would render the meat safe. If it don't smell bad," I " would cook it and eat it, but other than Arthritus, I am a healthy individual and so is everybody in my family. If you or anyone eating the pork is very old, under 2 years of age or sickly with a compromised immune system, Toss the meat. Otherwise, there is little to worry about. The choice is yours and you know if you can afford to throw away meat...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016

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