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I left a pot of soup out after dinner last night; I went to bed and forgot about it. Is it safe to eat if I boil the soup really hard for a long time?

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A

No, the food should be thrown away. Eating food left out overnight is a real gamble. Some microorganisms survive reheating and other organisms produce a toxin that is not destroyed by reheating. Bacteria grows rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees F. A good rule of thumb is never leave food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Posted on 12 Sep 2006

Pauline Williams
Family & Consumer Sciences and 4-H Agent, Salt Lake County

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