4 Yr Old Left Fridge Open All Night, Do I Have to Throw Everything Out??

Updated on July 15, 2010
N.O. asks from Rowlett, TX
8 answers

Hi Moms,

My husband noticed around 6 am today that our 4 yr old must have gotten a drink from the fridge in the middle of the night because the door was left cracked open and he was found with a sippy cup lying next to him that I had made in advance for the kids last night....so we know the fridge isn't going out but nothing was still cold.

I had some defrosted meat in there, lots of yogurts, milk, juices, eggs, cheese, lunch meats, sausage & mayo which are the main food items I'm worried about most. I have no idea how long the fridge was left open but even a few hours later, the items still aren't back to the normal "cold".

I'm also pregnant and don't want myself or any family member to come down with food poisoning. Do I need to throw it all out?? Everything in my freezer is still good. I'd hate to throw out good food if it's still safe but I would prefer spending money on new food if it saves us from any sort of food poisoning!

TIA for your help!

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C.K.

answers from New York on

One of the things I always say is...if you're questioning it, it's not worth it! So, yes it SUCKS to throw everything out but it's better to be safe than sorry!

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J.R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi N.!

If it were me, I would probably throw the dairy stuff away that would spoil (milk, yougurt, lunch meat, sausage)....especially if you're pregnant. I think the juice, eggs, and mayo would be fine.

2 moms found this helpful
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M.P.

answers from Portland on

My 4yo son did the same thing only a few months ago! I threw out basically everything except for various condiments (except the mayo - definitely need to throw that out). I kept the fruits & veggies, but anything dairy or meat I was not taking the chance. If it were me, wouldn’t take any chances that the items *might* be ok especially because of the baby. But I feel your pain - I'm on a tight budget and replacing EVERYTHING in the fridge was a real bummer!

2 moms found this helpful
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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Get rid of everything! If you have ever had a "touch" of food poisoning you will know what we are talking about--it is miserable and besides that scares the "bits" out of you because there really is no way to tell what "hit you"--be safe and just find a way to give him a drink without the frig--they have the neatest sippers out there for little kids in fancy colors and no spillers--this would help all of you. Check in the container Stores--I found a great portable sipper just for kids just last week-in both pink and blue how neat is that?

2 moms found this helpful
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C.D.

answers from St. Louis on

throw it att away if you have any question about it at all. You are pregnant, have a husband, and a 4yo. You can't be taking care of all three of you if you get food poisening. Think of it as a way to clean out the fridge and throw away all the stuff you have in there that you don't use and don't need. By the way food only has a max of 4 hours in the "danger zone" which is 40°f -140°f. That means that you even have to count the time that it takes to get the food "up to temp." sounds like it's been more than 4 hours especially if it's not cold yet. Who knows when your 4yo opened the fridge. Better to be safe than sick.

2 moms found this helpful
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B.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I wouldn't throw anything away unless it actually has mold or mildew on it. I would take the mayo and put it in the freezer to get it cold quick, and then put it back into the frig.

Yogurt is milk spoiled with the right bacteria. So is cheese. Eggs can be safe even if they are left out on the counter for more then one night. 50 years ago eggs were sold at room temperature and our parents and grandparents are still here to tell the tale.

Is there anybody out there that thinks the government really knows best? The government has some real funny/wierd rules on food storage and preservation. They require expiration dates on all kinds of foods and consumer products. When they found and opened up King Tut's tomb, wheat was found in there. Scientists grew the wheat and used it to add disease resistance to modern wheat varieties. According to the USDA guidelines (rules), the wheat was CENTURIES out of date and should have been thrown away. I've had a food handlers card and have been through the government's class on food storage. My wife and I raised 8 kids and violated almost all of their rules on a regular and consistant basis. We all lived and I can't ever remember having a case of food poisoning in our home.

I'd say, use common sense, but common sense isn't very commmon anymore.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

I agree with the previous posts. With eggs, you can do the water test - if they float, they're bad, if they sink, they are stll good. I would make sure that your fridge is still working properly, though. The compressor could have been running all night, trying to lower the temperature because the door was open. That could possibly wreck the motor.

Updated

I agree with the previous posts. With eggs, you can do the water test - if they float, they're bad, if they sink, they are stll good. I would make sure that your fridge is still working properly, though. The compressor could have been running all night, trying to lower the temperature because the door was open. That could possibly wreck the motor. Hopefully not!

1 mom found this helpful
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C.K.

answers from New York on

One of the things I always say is...if you're questioning it, it's not worth it! So, yes it SUCKS to throw everything out but it's better to be safe than sorry!

A.R.

answers from Houston on

This happened at our house and just to be on the safe side I would recommend throwing everything away. Don't hesitate about anything. It all goes in the trash. With a small child(-ren) and your pregnancy, it is not worth any risk.

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