Wide open! Not just a crack. For around 8-10 hours. I think I just didn’t shut it quite all the way and then it swung all the way open
So, is my food okay? I’m sure the fresh produce is fine, and I should probably toss the cheese and yogurt. But I’m not sure about stuff like opened jars of chopped garlic, basil, and oregano. I would hate to replace all that stuff.
And will this make a noticeable difference in my next electric bill? I mean, it’s obviously not going to be hundreds of dollars or anything, so I’m not terribly worried about it, but I’m just curious.
You keep herbs in your fridge? Why? They don’t need it.
I wouldn’t toss the cheese and yoghurt, but then I only like very mature cheeses; the softer kinds are more likely to grow Stuff if left out. Yoghurt should have only one type of bug in it and will have it whether the yoghurt has been above 4ºC or not.
Shut the door and count yourself lucky it wasn’t the freezer you left open all night? I wouldn’t throw any of it out, leave it to cool down again and see what it’s like. If anything looks/smells off when you come to use it, then don’t.
How cool was the stuff when you found it this morning? I’d expect the fridge to try to keep things cold, but probably couldn’t keep up with the heat coming in from the outside.
The classic advice is When in doubt, Throw it out. If you can afford it, I wouldn’t suggest taking chances. Food poisoning can be nasty. If cost is more of a concern…then I don’t have much good advice.
I wonder if there’s a concern about cross contamination from something that needs to be thrown out. Could a normally ‘safe’ item now not be safe because it was next to something that spoiled? Or is one night not enough to cause a concern there?
Assuming you don’t have some crazy commercial fridge running at 220V or something, it’s on a 20 Amp circuit (at most). If it’s pulling the entire 20 A when the compressor is running (which it isn’t), 20 A * 110 V * 10 hours /1000 = 22 kWh. According to the government you’re paying 10-20 cents per kWh, depending where you live. So the absolute maximum is somewhere between $2.20 and $4.40.
It wasn’t very cold at all. I didn’t feel around too much though, I just shut the door, threw up my hands in despair, and went back to bed.
I don’t have any milk or meat, and I think the yogurt was on its way out anyway so I’ll definitely throw that out, but I have a few bags of shredded cheese…I wonder if those are okay. I want a quesadilla.
The biggest danger of leaving the fridge door open, aside from food spoilage, is potentially burning out the compressor motor. You may have shortened the fridge’s lifespan by a month or two, but as long as it’s still working, no need to worry about it.
The last time I accidentally left my own fridge door open (only a crack, but that was enough to let all the cold air escape) the only thing spoiled was milk & some other perishables which were well past the expiration date anyway. The beer was warm, but that was easily fixed by evening.
As long as the cheese isn’t fuzzy or smelly when it’s not supposed to smell, go ahead and eat it. I would probably inspect the cheese, then put it at the top of the menu, it will probably go bad faster than normal, so eat it soon.
You do realize that cheese is how the pre-refrigeration folks preserved the proteins in milk, right? Other than something like cream cheese can more or less be safely left out on the counter for up to about 3 days for something like shredded and months to years for uncut waxed cheeses like gouda, or mold shell cheeses like brie? And one makes yogurt by infecting milk with bacteria and leaving it to sit in room temp to a few degrees above room temp for about 30 hours?