Can I Eat Cooked Beef Left Out Overnight

Although I am aware that your ribeye does not merit such harsh cooking, a well-done steak is still preferable to none at all.

According to a health inspector, there’s a chance that some bacteria landed on the steak and that the absence of refrigeration allowed the bacteria to grow all night. You shouldn’t attempt to revive it because there’s even a chance that it contains harmful bacteria.

Hello Mr. NNVV. I once accidentally left my leftover steak—a nice prime ribeye, mind you—out on my counter for the entire night. I threw it away when I discovered it in the morning, but according to your published leftover advice, would it have been okay for me to reheat this to a perfect temperature and consume it with a few eggs in the morning? The lack of refrigeration makes it seem like a different situation, but could any bacteria have survived two hours? A quick 5 minutes in the microwave or a lengthy stovetop reheat?

It’s the temperature that counts, so how long should you reheat it for? It’s recommended to cook the meat to 165ºF, but since it’s implausible to expect someone to test leftovers with a meat thermometer, “piping hot” is a suitable substitute.

Putting steak losses aside, you presented a well-reasoned analysis of the risk to food safety that makes me cry. Let’s review both lines of reasoning:

Usually, you won’t find out if food contains staph bacteria until someone becomes ill.

One of the most common sources of staph bacteria is the human body. Even healthy people carry staph — according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations Bad Bug Book, staph bacteria are present in the nasal passages and throats and on the hair and skin of 50 percent or more of healthy individuals. Staph bacteria is found in facial blemishes, cuts and lesions.

Will food that has been out all day or left on the counter forgotten overnight be safe to eat again?

Please scroll up the page if you are unable to see the article. Was this article helpful to you? Required Yes No If you share this article, with whom will you share it? How will you share it? By phone, text, email, social media, radio, television, presentation, handout, news article, newsletter, or in another way? If you selected another option, please specify. Referral Leave this field blank.

Reheating food may not make it safe. Certain bacteria, like staphylococcus aureus (staph), can develop a heat-resistant toxin that cooking cannot remove if food is left out for an extended period of time.