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HELP!!! Left big spag bol in pan outside to 'cool down' - forgot and there all night! Can I use it/freeze it?

(44 Posts)
cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:29:09

Bugger!!! I made a massive (15 portion at least) spag bol sauce and put it outside to cool down before I portioned it up to freeze/use. I went to bed and forgot about it. I would usually just chuck it without thinking but it was such a fag to do yesterday inbetween several other things I'm loathe to chuck it (and it was expensive as it was such a large batch) Can I keep it? The temp last night looks to have been 6 degrees at the lowest (in Surrey)

Novacane Sun 12-Oct-08 08:33:20

did it have a lid on?

I wouldn't TBH, but then my DPand DS have gippy tummies and anything will set them off.

troff Sun 12-Oct-08 08:34:36

Was it covered? Bound to have been investigated by rats/mice/slugs/squirrels if not.

I'd chuck it tbh, sorry...

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:35:02

Yes it did and def nothing in/on it (HEAVY pan!) I think in reality I shouldn;t either but I know my friends accuse me of being a pansy when it comes to best before dates etc, so thought I'd ask the MN fraternity.

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:36:10

yes - completely covered and still exactly as I left it this morning.

Heated Sun 12-Oct-08 08:37:44

Heck, yes. Live dangerously grin

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 12-Oct-08 08:38:38

If completely covered then go for it, what a waste otherwise.

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:38:58

OOH exciting! 1 for, 2 against.

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:39:29

even better - 2 for, 2 against!

PavlovtheWitchesCat Sun 12-Oct-08 08:42:12

If it was covered/sealed with the lid I would say it was fine, makes no difference if outside in cold or in kitchen in cold.


It there was even a hint of a gap from the lid and pan, that some little bugs could get into I would chuck it.

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:43:58

No - def sealed as a very good fitting pan lid (sits down in it IYSWIM) I was thinking more about the temperature of it overnight - not fridge cold.

PavlovtheWitchesCat Sun 12-Oct-08 08:45:19

It is going to be reheated though?

I have on occasion forgotten food that needed to be potted and frozen, if covered I would freeze anyway, if not covered, would through it away. Its probably colder outside than inside.

BecauseImAWitch Sun 12-Oct-08 08:47:08

It was quite cool last night - I would say it would be fine. Before you freeze it though, heat it through again and make sure you bring it to the boil, then simmer for at least 10 minutes.

minorbirdOnElmstreet Sun 12-Oct-08 08:49:50

Yeah blast the hell out of it with heat before you eat though. smile

franke Sun 12-Oct-08 08:50:51

Definitely keep it and freeze it. Just make sure you heat it through really thoroughly when you want to eat it.

Heated Sun 12-Oct-08 08:53:47

Fridges are usually 5 or 6 degrees, so essentially you've stuck it in an outside fridge. In northern climes people hang their food in bags outside the window in nature's freezer.

SmugColditz Sun 12-Oct-08 08:55:10

If covered then eat it.

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 08:57:42

Oh gals you're fab!!!! I shall freeze and make sure I kill each portion seriously before eating - thanks so much. DH is still asleep and I know that he would have said 'chuck it out' - he didn;t have to make the blinkin thing whilst looking after 3 children, plus next door's one, plus making last nights dinner, plus the spag bol and shopping for his 'business do'. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! xx

BecauseImAWitch Sun 12-Oct-08 08:57:46

Heat it up before you freeze it; boiling kills bacteria, freezing just stops any bacteria multiplying. Once you defrost anything, the bacteria in it will start to multiply again, so you need to kill it now.

hauntinghippoami Sun 12-Oct-08 09:02:10

Absolutely fine to eat. If the pan was completely sealed, then it was as safe outside as in the kitchen. It was nice and cool outside last night, so no worries on that front.

In fact, that is how people would have stored food before fridges, no?

Am in awe of the size of your pan if it holds 15 portions though!

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 09:06:07

becauseimawitch - surely that means it'll be cooked once, then reheated twice though - is that not more of a risk than freezing fast (now!) and then boiling the heck out of it later?

hauntinghippo - ah yes - it's a fab pan! Approx the size of a jam pan as it holds 20 plus. I love to cook big stylie then freeze as |I'm a lazy tart in reality!

BBBee Sun 12-Oct-08 09:09:41

oh god yes - don't throw it away!

Do the boiling up thing and if you are still worried you could do an experimenatl guinea pig eating of a portion before you serve it to the family [marta mummy emoticion]

hauntinghippoami Sun 12-Oct-08 09:10:22

Don't heat it up before freezing. Freezing kills any bugs, some may come back once you defrost, but I am assuming you will heat it before eating any way.
There should be no more bugs in there than if you had left it in your kitchen overnight (unless your kitchen is hermetically sealed and kept at a constant temperature) so don't worry smile

cluckyagain Sun 12-Oct-08 09:12:00

Like the martyr idea! I have saved a portion for the whole family for tonight - perhaps not a great idea!!!

SharpMolarBear Sun 12-Oct-08 09:13:56

I often do this (left in kitchen rather than out) as I sometimes cook too late to freeze before bed. As long as it was sealed it should be fine. Def don't heat it before freezeing!

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