Pork danger zone question.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by thsmormonsmokes, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    OK, I just pulled a rookie mistake. I put a butt on at about 12:00 last night straight from the fridge.

    At 4:30 I check in on things and see that my cooking temps have plummeted for reasons I don't fully understand (figuring that out will be a subject for another day). IT was at 118.

    I got the fire back to where it needs to be and by 5:30, IT was up to 127.

    My question is how risky is this piece of meat going to be? I think it probably didn't cross 40 it until about 12:45ish. I've also read that the actual high end of the danger zone is something like 135 and I think it's there now (it's 5:45 as I type).

    Little help please?
     
  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did you inject it with anything?
     
  3. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What JJC said.....   including a thermometer or a fork.... 

     If the smoker was above 225 when you put it in, and above that temp for say 1/2 hour plus....  you should be OK.....

    Chef JJ is the go-to-guy on this stuff....

    Dave
     
  5. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    I put the therm in from the start. My thinking was that it would save having to open the smoker later. So yes, there has been an injection, so to speak.

    But the cooking temps were about 250 for at least the first hr.

    And I just checked, and at 7:00 we had IT of 154.

    It is a good, fresh piece of meat. Several days before its freeze or use date, if that makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You injected surface bacteria into the meat from the start.... The 40 - 140 temp range, of the interior of the roast, is a perfect medium for growth of bacteria and pathogens.... not a good thing.... For the price of a roast, I would pitch it... not worth the risk....  

    I don't know if you have read about the practice of "probing, injecting etc." after the whole muscle meat has been in a temp environment above 225 for a time period to kill surface bacteria, but it is worth it..... Also, brines, marinades etc should boiled first to kill all bacteria, and syringes also should be sanitized also... 

    Chef JJ has some great threads, and posts on this subject.... Dave
     
  7. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    I haven't, but all of a sudden that is making an awful lot of sense.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2012
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You're Fine...JJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  9. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    I used Jeff's rub, so that would count as a salty rub, I think But I used EVOO instead of mustard. It sat rubbed in the fridge for about 6 hrs before putting it on. It was also washed pretty well before rubbing. The only puncture was to put in the probe. Nothing else.

    And I was planning on taking it to 200 even to pull, but if the extra 5 degrees will help, I've built enough time into my schedule to allow for that.

    Thanks again for everyone's input. Every time I post a question here I'm reminded of how awesome these boards are.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2012
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You're Fine...JJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  11. I would toss it!
    It's impossible to know to what extent surface bacteria was reduced by the application of salt, etc.
    Some ecoli produced shiga toxin isn't deactivated unless the temp reaches 212 degrees for 5 minutes, staph aureus enterotoxin is even worth, it can survive above 212.
    It's not worth the risk.


    ~Martin
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You're Fine...JJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  13. I'm totally baffled!!!

    We have a rule here that is supposed to eliminate guessing for safety's sake.

    "any meats that have been Punctured, Probed, Injected or Ground be cooked or smoked at a temperature, typically 225*F or greater, that gets the Internal Temperature of the meat from 40*F to 140*F in 4 Hours or less...Frequently called the 40 to 140 in 4 Rule."

    Yet, in this instance (where the meat was probed and in the danger zone for 5+ hours at an unknown smoking temperature), the rule is being totally ignored and some are resorting to guessing that the meat is probably okay, and on top of that downplaying possible risks! :wtf1:

    So, are we following the above rule here or not?

    I would err on the side of caution!

    When in doubt, toss it out!!

    ~Martin :head-wall:
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]Martin is right on about this....   You can stop with the head banging now diggy.....  
     
  15. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the input, albeit through some controversy.

    To be clear, I'm not asking for anyone to tell me what to do. I'm just seeking the advice of those wiser than myself so I can make an informed decision. Whatever I decide to do, it'll be my choice and I'll own it.

    If nothing else, I think I'll carve out the meat surrounding the probe before pulling it. I mean, if the bacteria we're concerned with don't naturally live inside the meat and get there through punctures, one puncture shouldn't contaminate the entire 9.4 lb chunk, or at least I wouldn't think anyway.

    So I'm leaning toward thinking it was sufficiently sterilized in the first hour. But I have a contingency plan in case I decide to toss it.
     
  16. If that were the case, then the meat would never spoil.
    Given enough time, the bacteria spreads throughout the meat.

    ~Martin
     
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Every Situation is NOT Black or White and Per request I no longer argue with anyone...JJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     If you're going to post info...You should Post the ENTIRE statement...Less chance of confusion...JJ

    Punctured, Probed, Injected or Ground be cooked or smoked at a temperature, typically 225*F or greater, that gets the Internal Temperature of the meat from 40*F to 140*F in 4 Hours or less...Frequently called the 40 to 140 in 4 Rule. (This does not include meats containing Cure #1, Cure #2 and Morton's Tender Quick.)

    This is how the rule was established...

    A Guideline like 40-140 in 4...aka the Rule (less letters than Guideline) is, Easy to remember, Provides a margin of Error, Has been gleaned from information provided by Multiple sources, including but not limited to, Professional Food service organizations, The American Culinary Federation, The ServSafe program, the USDA and Food Service Professionals with Years of Experience...
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  19. Nice jab!

    I posted what applied to this thread.

    So then, post the ENTIRE thiing!
    Less chance of confusion!

    There are a few Guidelines that should be taken into consideration when you post an answer...
    Always try to keep USDA recommendation in mind when you answer...
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Basics_for_Handling_Food_Safely/index.asp
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Smoking_Meat_and_Poultry/index.asp

    Always take into consideration that the member asking the question is not sure if they are risking the Health of themselves and loved ones and does not know what to do...
    Read the post and give Complete and Detailed answers...Random statements that can't be supported by anything other than, " That's the way my Grandmother did it." can be confusing and potentially dangerous...
    Some Guidelines are Standard on SMF...It is important for your Safety, that any Meats that have been Punctured, Probed, Injected or Ground be cooked or smoked at a temperature, typically 225*F or greater, that gets the Internal Temperature of the meat from 40*F to 140*F in 4 Hours or less...Frequently called the 40 to 140 in 4 Rule. (This does not include meats containing Cure #1, Cure #2 and Morton's Tender Quick.)
    This is how the rule was established...
    A Guideline like 40-140 in 4...aka the Rule (less letters than Guideline) is, Easy to remember, Provides a margin of Error, Has been gleaned from information provided by Multiple sources, including but not limited to, Professional Food service organizations, The American Culinary Federation, The ServSafe program, the USDA and Food Service Professionals with Years of Experience... Is, " 40 to 140*F in 4 " written down in any Government Food Service Law Manual, or Word for Word on any fore mentioned Website or Charter?...NO...But it Has been adopted by This Site and others to protect our members...
    Just a bit on Curing Safety...
    Curing meat involves the use certain Chemicals among them Salt, Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate...These are all critical in preventing the growth of several dangerous forms of Bacteria. To that end...
    For Safety, we don't support the Smoking of Meat at temperatures lower than 200*F unless a Cure containing Sodium Nitrite Cure #1 or Tender Quick is used...The addition of Cure allows for Smoking anywhere between 40 and 200*F for an extended period of time...The only Exception is Bacon cured with a Brine containing Salt at a 10% or Greater Concentration... To this end, Please don't post recipes that are contrary to this...
    Curing sausages to a dry or semi-dry state, such as pepperoni, salami, sopressata, Spanish chorizo and so on, in many cases, requires the use of a Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite blend, Cure #2, to produce the desired long cured items...Additionally a Temperature and Humidity controlled, Fermentation and Extended Curing must take place to reduce the Moisture content of the meat...This Requires Specialized Equipment that can maintain a Constant Relative Humidity and Temperature that is higher than that of a standard refrigerator...
    There are Classic forms of Curing with just Salt, Prosciutto and Coppa come to mind, but they require a very specific set of Temperature and Salting Rules be followed and are not in any way a Beginner's undertaking...

    There are some Hot subjects that come up in Safety from time to time while Friendly debate is acceptable...Rude Arguing is not any kind of Fun and Threads may be Locked from time to time to allow a cooling off period...
    Please be nice to one another... Disparaging Comments about another members Post, Education, Abilities or Intent...Is just not right and will have to be deleted with a Warning sent...Further infractions will be grounds for Suspension and/or Banning from the SMF...We all lose in this situation...



    ~Martin
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  20. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    I get that. But here's my question. If all I've done is to put the probe in (no marinades or injections), will the probe alone provide an avenue to contaminate the whole piece of meat in that short of a time? I mean, I know the bacteria will get there eventually. That's the natural process of decomposition. What I don't know is if there was enough time for that to happen before it got too hot.

    It seems like the consensus view is that this would be completely safe if I didn't probe it since the bacteria wouldn't have made their way much past the surface. (going forward I'm goig to wait at least 6 hrs before probing to avoid this issue). Assuming that to be true, I did cross 140 IT in about 5 hrs. So would the one puncture provide a vehicle to contaminate the whole thing before the heat did its job? It seems to me that whatever bacteria got introduced by the probe couldn't make it all too far before the heat killed them.

    That's why I think I'd be ok if I cut around the area with the probe before pulling it and be just fine.

    Also, these are honest questions/hypothesis. I'm not trying to argue the point or tell you why I think you're wrong. I'm just trying to understand the process as best as I can.
     

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