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The stew in my slow-cooker was just finishing cooking when I went to bed at 10:00 pm. It was way too hot to put in the refrigerator. I left it covered on the counter and refrigerated it at 7:30 in the morning. Is it still OK to eat?
Next time put it right into the fridge, doesn't matter that it's hot. If the crock is removable, just put a folded towel under if if your fridge shelves are glass. Uncover it to facilitate cooling. The reason people used to cool things before putting them in the icebox was that hot things would melt the ice. With a fridge, it's not an issue.
The FDA says food should not be eaten if left out after two hours. I don't adhere to this strictly but all night, I wouldn't chance it.
Last night I cleaned some stalks of celery for soup this weekend and cooked it with the top greens. I left it in the water in a stainless steel pan overnight on top of the stove. Can I still use it? I put it in the fridge when I got up this morning.
By Rosemary P. from Medina, NY