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Mark Bornfeld
Mark Bornfeld, Dentist (DDS)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 6017
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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How does a tamale stay good left out?

Customer Question

How long does a tamale stay good left out?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld replied 9 years ago.

It is difficult to specify an absolute time limit for safe unrefrigerated storage, since it depends so much on the food, its starting level of bacterial contamination, and the environmental conditions to which it is exposed.

However, tamales frequently contain beef, chicken, and other foods that are well known to be unsafe if not properly stored. And-- no disparagement intended to any particular ethnicity-- having seen some of the ad hoc conditions under which some of these specialty foods are prepared, hygienic practices cannot always be assumed. (I have a particular familiarity with tamales from my wife's native Colombia, and have occasionally been at loggerheads with my in laws with their food handling protocol.)

My advice: food poisoning is a real risk, and will exact a much greater cost than just throwing them out. Be safe and don't eat them.