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Foods -- Vegetables

Can one leave cooked collard greens and black-eyed peas out of refrigeration for 24 hours?

Rating: 10

No, they could support the growth of two pathogenic microorganisms, C. perfringens and Bacillus cereus. Both of these organisms are spore-formers. Therefore, during cooking, the spore will be heat-shocked but not destroyed. If the product is then held at warm temperatures (between 40 and 140 F) for an extended period of time then the heat-shocked spores can form vegetative cells. These vegetative cells can then grow to large numbers that can cause foodborne illness. The peas are a particularly good medium for the outgrowth of either of these organisms because of the moisture, acidity, and protein.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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