I just recently started cooking sous vide and it got me wondering about food safety. I started a 16 hour cook of a turkey @ 131F and i thought it would be a good idea to throw in some potatoes into the same bath. In the potato bag i thew in some heavy cream, cream cheese and butter. Come the following morning to find out the supds need to cook at a higher temp to actually get soft enough to mash. I Initially thought no biggie let me just crank the bath up to 190 and let them cook for another hour or 2. That’s when the second thought hit me those ingredients would now be sitting outside for about 18 hours, granted they were in a cooking bath the whole time. Can dairy be still safe after being out that long.
Ready, Fire, Aim?
Food safety is always an important matter to contemplate, but before you start.
Grifter, i’d be more concerned with your alleged 16 hour turkey.
Would that be a whole turkey as purchased? I hope it wasn’t frozen.
Or did you appropriately flatten it by removing the backbone and splitting it?
Or better yet, cut and package it in segregated white and dark meat packs so they can be cooked competently?
And why at 131F?
Have you always liked your turkey pink and mushy?
Similar details are needed for the potatoes, whole or appropriately diced?
If your kitchen sanitation and personal hygiene standards are exemplary you might not have incubated a batch of bad cheese. Given the length of time you employed the dairy products could likely be safe, but i wouldn’t chance it.
It would have been prudent to at least have first blanched the potatoes to kill any surface bacteria. Did you?
Of course then it would have been so much easier to just carry on boiling them for another twenty five minutes and been done.
Because SV cooking is frequently done below the thermal death point of harmful pathogens you need to plan each cook in advance tp protect yourself and the others you serve.
Further to the problems that @chatnoir has mentioned with the turkey, the potatoes need to reach 184F to cook. Raw potatoes are very unpleasant.
to clarify its just the turkey breast, trying a few recipes to get ready for thanksgiving. From the recipes I saw suggested cook times for turkey ranging from 8-24 hours @131 F. Turkey came out nice and juicy. As to why the cook time of 16 hours it was close to being done at the 8hr mark when it was about time to go to bed, and i didnt want to wait for the turkey to cool down before throwing it in the fridge nor was I going to sear it that late at night. So i just extended the time, meat did not come out mushy at all.
Potatoes were cut into medallions about as thick as a pencil, and no they were not blanched. The potatoes were a tragedy onto themselves. Earlier in the day i was trying potato recipe 190F for 2 hours, have made this in the past. At the end of the cook the seal on bottom of the bag gave up and everything spilled out in the bath. Had to redo a new batch again but this time it was going to cut into the time for the turkey cook so i thought to throw it in there thinking the longer cook at the lower temp would be enough to get the potatoes softer. It was not, it was not till the morning i thought to myself that might have been too long for the dairy products.
The dairy isn’t likely to have been a problem as most dairy is pasteurised. Raw milk cheeses are allowed in some countries.
Vegetables and fruit will often soften or wilt at lower temperatures but cooking them, converting the pectins requires higher temps around 83C/184F. The starch in a potato starts to burst around 172F, from memory.
There are recipes that will ‘cook’ vegies in the same bag as meat, however they usually require a very fine dice and are usually actually cooked on a stove top after sous vide during sauce finishing. Recipes that don’t do this are only giving you wilted vegies. That’s why I have a big problem with the idea of ‘all in the bag’ recipes.