Will this kill my daughter?

My daughter is a police officer who works the midnight to 8 shift in Flatbush, Brooklyn and this job is going to kill her. . . with her eating habits.

I purchased a slow cooker for her in which, she informed me, she regularly puts her low carb shredded chicken meal sets the cook time. It then turns itself to warm when it is done. She then eats this food when she gets home— FOR TWO DAYS!!! or until it is finished, which ever is longer. It is certainly still piping hot this whole time but it cannot be good at all. She’s flirting with botulism or something else equally as horrible, isn’t she?

So I guess I’m looking for either reassurance that this isn’t going to kill my daughter or enough evidence to convince her it is going to kill her.

If it is indeed piping hot the entire time, is is safe. Sous vide recipes often call for 48 hour cook times and at likely lower temperatures. However, I’d think that crockpot chicken would be overcooked into a mealy gray paste.

The danger zone is 40 - 140 F. Which seems to imply if the slow cooker keeps the food above 140F, it would be safe.

As long as she knows the power hasn’t gone off for some period of time. Does she know that?

It’s probably better than donuts…

When she’s training and body sculpting she eats the most unappetizing foods ever, so grey shredded chicken paste is right up her alley. When she’s not training anything that looks or smells delicious is fair game-- guard your plate!

I will now buy her a food thermometer and insist she use it.

Depends. Chicken thighs hold up much better to long cooking than breasts.

When the Tunagate scandal hit the Canadian government years ago, someone mentioned that you could safely eat fecal matter if it had been properly…

Context - fish canning companies in New Brunswick complained the health inspectors were using the sniff test instead of any scientific basis to reject tuna as failing ot meet health an safety standards. The department ordered them to pass the tuna, and it was sent to market… A member of parliament accused the minister of endangering the health of Canadians, and the minister dared the member to make that accusation outside of the house where he could be sued. (he didn’t). A TV commentator explained that properly pasteurized tuna or fecal matter (apparently not much distinguishable in this case) could safely be eaten, regardless of smell, taste, or texture.

Oddly enough, the cannery closed its doors after al this and much of the tuna was sold to the Canadian army who apparently just threw it away.
So short answer, as long as the temperature is above the safe level long enough, the contents will be healthy - or at least, safe. if the pot regularly reheats, I would be very surprised if it was not designed to reach the necessary temperature to ensure healthy food - unless it is on a “make yoghurt” setting.

Well, certainly not botulism which I believe requires being in an oxygen free environment (I believe it is problem with badly sterilized canned foods?).

As for other things - yeah, she’s got some risk, but if it doesn’t smell/look off (although apparently her standards there may be low), I’d think she’s mostly at risk of low-grade food poisoning, assuming her cooking space/home is relatively clean (on the theory that the truly dangerous microbes aren’t normally circulating in the home). And a day or so of puking and pooping might convince her that refrigerating leftovers isn’t such a bad idea.

You can get an instant-read, digital, food thermometer at any restaurant supply place for 15 bucks.

In her situation, I would transfer the food to the fridge when it’s “done” and then reheat portions in the microwave. I imagine you already suggested that.

I haven’t really because, well, she knows how leftovers work, she sure packed, stored and reheated enough food while she lived here to know. She thinks of it as a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of thing. Put it to cook, come home eat, sleep and and repeat for two days. Especially when she’s training and take out is out of the question.

As an adult she may have to learn the lesson about proper food prep and storage on her own - there is not much you can really do. A bout with food poisoning will likely not be fatal, but may get to change habits more than your well-intentioned parental guidance.

Flatbush, eh? My Dad grew-up there. Mom is from Brownsville. :slight_smile:

She leaves food in a slow cooker for two days straight??? Forget food poisoning, she needs to get her traste buds checked :slight_smile:

When I first started dating my fiancé, we would go to her parents house and stay for a weekend, they lived in the jungles of Thailand, and I don’t think they care too much about food illness.

When they have a celebration , a pig would be killed, boiled, then left in the pot of pig water at room temperature until it was gone, sometimes a week. Want something to eat, just heat up the water and pick something out.

Hey neighbor! Birthed and raised my children in Park Slope. She was hospitalized for food poisoning a few years back, which is what prompted me to ask her if she was crazy. But that was because she ate an expired Starkist Tuna Creation. She thought it smelled a little off but ate it anyway because she was a teenager and immortal and also invincible. You’d think she’d learn. She also should stop trying to eat lean and healthy-- it’s gonna kill her!

Plug a digital clock into the same outlet as the slow cooker. If she comes home and it is blinking 12:00 the power failed and the food is suspect. She might already have a clock on a microwave or range that would already act as the canary in the chicken mine.

If something is fatty or sugary enough, it is much less likely to spoil, although it’s not impossible.

As a father to a daughter, I love that you still care so much about your daughter, and you must worry about her constantly as she’s a police officer. But, you know, she’s a grown up now.

If you still want to mother her this much–or let me put it another way, SUPPORT her–instead of worrying about the slow-cooker, why not approach this a different way?

You could make a once-a-week meal (casserole?) that you can parcel into say 4 portions and she can refrigerate or freeze until she’s ready to eat.

However, if she is determined to eat low-carb and lean, you’ve go to respect that no matter your opinion. Otherwise she’ll just ignore your home cooking…and eat rotten tuna. It’s pretty clear that the taste of food doesn’t matter to her, so something you think is impossibly bland would be delicious for her.

Well the cooking kills of botulism, salmonella, e coli , cholera, dysenty, streptococci …

And then, after cooking, as long as its above 105 F, 42 C… nothing is reproducing in there.
its a closed container, so its not collecting a layer of dust… (dust that she breaths in anyway, its a lot of dust each day that she breaths in … insect poop included. Each day, Litres of dust tainted fluid pushed up out of the lungs , up out of the trachea and into the throat where most of it is swallowed … )

It’s risky. This is one of those things where there’s only one little thing between ok and disaster. The crockpot is being reinoculated every time it is opened and utensils inserted, and the only thing that stops bacteria from growing is the keep warm temperature being hot enough. If that fails there’s a big problem. It’s certainly not worth the consequences of severe food poisoning, and honestly bizarre why your daughter wouldn’t put the food in the refrigerator. At the very least to save the power used to run the cooker for days. There’s also the risk of fire from the cooker running for so long unattended.

wow so the Pease porridge rhyme still applies ……….