The Super Gross Reason You Should Never Leave Food On The Stove Overnight

Maybe just take the extra minutes to put it in the fridge in future.

This is a safe space to be honest, right?

I love to cook, I really do. I get the meditative sensations from chopping vegetables, I get a kick out of warming spices and I love to watch people eat my creations to try and see if they’re loving it as much as I loved making it.

However, and I’m begging you not to judge me here, when it comes to soups, stews and big pasta dishes... I can’t be bothered taking the leftovers out of the pot and into the fridge. Yes, I am a batch cooking queen but a batch storing queen... not so much.

I know, I know, it’s gross. It’s unforgivable. It’s just that once the serotonin of cooking and eating has worn off, I’ve lost all interest in the whole debacle. Yes, I am in my mid-thirties, why do you ask?

What happens when you leave bolognese out overnight?

So, of course, the answer to the dangers of leaving food out overnight of course exists on Reddit. One user asked, “Is leaving food (curry, bolognese) in a pot on the stove overnight dangerous (food poisoning or bacteria growth)?”.

As luck would have it, a professional chef stepped in to give their advice on the matter stating that while in a professional kitchen, you could never leave food out overnight, home kitchens are different, even for chefs.

However, they added, “Leaving food out over night whether in a pro kitchen or at home has exactly the same end results. Bacteria will grow no matter what. The food may become unsafe no matter what.”

“But, a home kitchen is possibly cooler than a pro in winter months it’s likely that your kitchen at night is around the maximum legal temperature of a fridge anyway.”

However, they did say that they would never take the risk at home with meat and would only do it with low-risk meals such as soup. Interestingly, they added that even rice and pasta being left out overnight can be “just as dangerous” as leaving meat out overnight.

How long should you leave food out overnight?

According to the Food Standards Agency, “Food that has not been used within four hours can be put back in the fridge and kept at 8°C or below until it is used. If it has been out for more than four hours it should be thrown away.”