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cooling foods

On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, J,K&M Bilinski wrote:

> It's not supposed to be safe to let foods cool down before you put them
> in the freezer or fridge.  During that time bacteria can grow. 
> Supposedly it's safest to just put them away immediately. 

Hmm, I've always heard the opposite--that food is in the danger range of 
temps less if refrigerated after cooling (I think this is partly because hot 
food warms up much of the surrounding food in the refrigerator).

Besides, bacteria can (and do) grow in the fridge as well.  Leaving food 
out longer may help the bacteria along, but it isn't going to make the 
food suddenly bad.  Eventually, there will be a certain amount of 
bacteria, and then the food will smell/look bad.
I have to say I don't worry about this much, because I'm not cooking meat 
and eggy dishes.  I've left beans out for hours with no ill 
effects--plant foods don't spoil nearly as quickly as animal ones.

Susan "As a grad student, I always smell my food before eating" Lehman 
Go Heels!