Vegetable soup tastes sour

  • #1
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I cooked a big pot of vegetable soup and left it out for a while to cool off before putting it in the refrigerator. I forgot about it and left it there overnight. In the morning I put it in the refrigerator.
It's later that same day and I just put some in a bowl and microwaved it and it tastes sour and has a funny smell to it. Anyone know what's wrong it it? Has it gone bad? Because that taste and smell is not good.
I hate to waste so much food, but there's no way I can eat this. What happened to it?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
turbo
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Hi,LJ. There are some things that need to be chilled ASAP. I am no chef, but if you leave stuff out overnight, they could end up with odd tastes. I hate to put warm soups and casseroles in the 'fridge (due to the energy costs of chilling them), but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. If it is cool outside, I will put stuff on the back deck, and if not, I can sometimes place the dishes in one of our chest freezers for a quick cool-down.

Without knowing what was in your soup, it is tough to speculate what might have made it taste sour to you. Sometimes you can salvage soups pretty cheaply. Carrots are not very expensive (at least around here), and they can sweeten up a soup, so you might try chopping them, adding them to the soup, and simmering once again. As a plus, the chopped carrots can absorb some compounds from the soup. I hope this works.

Good luck.
 
  • #3
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Well, I threw it out. That was like 20$ worth of vegetables. It was a huge pot. That sucks.
I couldn't deal with the taste and smell. I've made this same pot of vegetables 2 times before and it tasted fine, but this was the first time I accidentally left it out overnight.
Thanks for the tip, though.
 
  • #4
Evo
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You're not supposed to put hot food into the fridge, you're supposed to let it cool off first, i forget the temperature, but it doesn't have to cool all the way to room temperature, this was actually on tv last month on a food safety quiz. I always let my large pots of food cool all day or overnight first, I'm sure they'd say that's too long, but I've done it all my life, my mother, my grandmother...

Is it possible that there was some cross contamination, or something in the soup was a bit off to begin with?

Edit: ok, it was let it cool to no less than 130F, lower than that, they say bacteria starts to form. The reasoning was that a large amount of hot food would lower the temperature in the fridge for hours causing more of a risk.

Other websites say to throw it in the fridge right away.

Meh
 
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  • #5
lisab
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I don't think leaving it out overnight would be enough for it to go bad like that. It may shorten its "life expectancy", though, but not to less than one day.

Did you use canned tomatoes in it? They can be sour and a bit "off", sometimes.
 
  • #6
Evo
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I don't think leaving it out overnight would be enough for it to go bad like that. It may shorten its "life expectancy", though, but not to less than one day.

Did you use canned tomatoes in it? They can be sour and a bit "off", sometimes.
Agree.
 
  • #7
Borek
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I don't think leaving it out overnight would be enough for it to go bad like that. It may shorten its "life expectancy", though, but not to less than one day.
In general I agree - one night is not enough.

But things happen. I remember maaaaany years ago we've lost a soup overnight after my Mom accidentally covered the pot with a cover that she forgot to wash.
 
  • #8
jim mcnamara
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Borek is right - the titer of the innoculant changes the starting point of logarithmic growth. So a shower of bacteria is not a good starting point for food preservation.

Here is a discussion about food spoilage:

http://depts.washington.edu/envh441/Readings/Lesson03/3%20Food%20Spoilage%20and%20Preservation%20HO.pdf [Broken]

The mention of metal contamination is interesting. Long time ago, I lost some food because it tasted funny after being in the fridge over night in aluminum. Tomatoes (sauce) and artichokes have this problem it seems. For example, artichokes react with some types of metal cookware:

http://www.eattheseasons.com/Archive/artichoke.htm

And for us ancient ones or families with tiny ones, spoilage is a relative term, lots of factors are at play, age being one:

http://foodsafety.osu.edu/ask-the-pros/health-professionals/hrfs/ [Broken]
 
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  • #9
Dembadon
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I don't like to leave my meals out for very long. I'll usually put them in the refrigerator after we're done eating.

The USDA instructs us to discard any prepared foods that have been left out for more than 2 hours, and says to store foods in shallow containers and put them in the refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling.

Here's an article in the NY Times relevant to this discussion:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/d...eria-and-food-safety.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Boiling does kill any bacteria active at the time, including E. coli and salmonella. But a number of survivalist species of bacteria are able to form inactive seedlike spores. These dormant spores are commonly found in farmland soils, in dust, on animals and field-grown vegetables and grains. And the spores can survive boiling temperatures.

After a food is cooked and its temperature drops below 130 degrees, these spores germinate and begin to grow, multiply and produce toxins. One such spore-forming bacterium is Clostridium botulinum, which can grow in the oxygen-poor depths of a stockpot, and whose neurotoxin causes botulism.
emphasis mine

The toxins mentioned in the above quote might be what caused the sour taste you experienced, leroy. That is my speculative opinion, though. :smile:
 
  • #10
Evo
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Even though it was sad and a terrible waste of food and effort, you did the right thing to throw it out if it smelled sour. Something must have gone wrong.

One site I read that said to be safe, if you insist on placing large quantities of hot food into the fridge, to pour it in several small shallow containers so that the food cools quicker. I guess if they cool quicker, the temp in the fridge will return to normal quicker? I keep my fridge cooler than recommended anyway.

This site seems to answer all of the questions/information addressed above.

http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/should-hot-food-go-fridge
 
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  • #11
atyy
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I don't think leaving it out overnight would be enough for it to go bad like that. It may shorten its "life expectancy", though, but not to less than one day.

Did you use canned tomatoes in it? They can be sour and a bit "off", sometimes.
In general I agree - one night is not enough.

But things happen. I remember maaaaany years ago we've lost a soup overnight after my Mom accidentally covered the pot with a cover that she forgot to wash.
Maybe it depends on which part of the world one lives in - eg. warm vs cool weather?
 
  • #12
Monique
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Tip: if you want to cool a pan of food quickly, place it in a larger container (or sink) with cold (running) water and stir it a few times. It will draw the heat out quickly, after which it can be refrigerated.
 
  • #13
Borek
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Maybe it depends on which part of the world one lives in - eg. warm vs cool weather?
Most likely it does to some extent, but as far as I can tell temperature wise I live in more or less the same climate LisaB does.

Definitely drier here :wink:
 
  • #14
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Thanks for the informative replies.

When I was about to throw it out, I took the lid off and smelled it and it had that terrible smell to it. So I just poured it in the garbage, ready to take that garbage outside right away. But when I poured it out, it didn't have that smell anymore.

I think only the top layer was affected. I probably could have taken the top layer of vegetables out and the rest could have been fine. I don't know.
I really hate wasting money, so for me to throw that huge pot of food out means that it had to smell and taste pretty bad.

From now on, I'm not filling that thing all the way up to cook in. Just in case something else goes wrong.
 

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