Q.: I was unpacking groceries and accidentally forgot a bag and left four frozen dinners out on the counter all night. They were there for about 12 hours. I put them in the freezer as soon as I found them, but they were already soft. Are they still good to eat?
— N.L., Cuyahoga Falls
A.: Absolutely not. Throw them away and don’t eat them.
At room temperature, bacteria in foods can multiply quickly. If the meals had been in the freezer, for example during a power outage, they may have stayed frozen longer due to the cool conditions from the freezer and surrounding frozen foods and perhaps could have been salvaged.
That was not the case here. These were completely thawed and went hours without refrigeration. Toss them. No matter what you paid for them, it’s not worth getting sick.
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