Cold potatoes poison????

baked potatoe - Can cold potatoes be poison?
United States
March 5, 2007 12:01pm CST
I have been told for as long as I can remember that if you eat mashed potatoes or baked potatoes after they set out on the cabinet and cool off, that you could die with some sort of food poisoning. I am talking about say you make a baked potatoe and eat only half and then set it on the cabinet and then come back later to finish it. I know it may sound silly and my mom does have some funny old wives tales that she believes like the cat will suck the babies breath and kill it...LOL. But, I could have sworn that I actually read this somewhere. I am terrified to save boiled potatoes that are leftover or anything because of this. My husband does it all the time and he isn't dead yet. LOL But, I am just curious if anyone else has heard this? Is there some sort of truth to it? I know most old wives tales have some sort of truth to it. Thanks
12 people like this
29 responses
@ricknkae (1726)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Yes I have heard of it ... I was told never to keep potato leftovers more than one day in the fridge ... let alone at room temperature ! I think it is due to the fact that the potato contains Solanine which is a poison ... moisture and light help the amount of solanine increase in the potatoe - it usually gives it a greenish color ... You need to discard the potato because even if you would need a high amount of the poison to kill you, a smaller amount can make you sick I would not leave eny kind of food at room temperature anyway more than 30 minutes or you will need to re-boil it to kill the bacteria ( for a soup for instance ) NOTA : there is solanine in tomatoes, peppers and eggplants as well ...
• United States
6 Mar 07
THANK YOU! At least I know that my mom isn't THAT crazy!!! LOL I thought I had seen it somewhere, but can't find it again and all. I bet this is what she is talking about. Thanks so much
2 people like this
@ricknkae (1726)
• United States
6 Mar 07
You are very much welcome and I happy to let everyone know because it can be dangerous And thank you so much for the best answer !!
2 people like this
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
Hi! I think there's a bit of a confusion. If it is already cooked, then leaving it sitting out in the open can make it a breeding ground fro bacteria, as you rightly pointed out. However, the solanin content only increases to toxic levels when it is still fresh or uncooked AND exposed to sunlight or similar source of light. That is why farmers keep potatoes for eating in sacks kept in the dark. It has something to do with the breakdown of starch resulting in the greening. For seed potatoes, this is no problem and storage of seed potatoes is better in diffused light. Check the website of the International Potato Center (www.cipotato.org) or any other reference on the potato. Yes, eggplants and tomatoes are relatives - all solanaceous crops or belonging to the family Solanaceae. hope this helped. Either way - cooked or uncooked - don't leave them in the open. cheers!
@stormygrl (763)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I've heard you shouldn't leave anything out more than an hour. I've had stuff like maybe chicken and it has sat out and I've went back and ate it and never had food poisoning, and I have left potato wedges sit out longer and nibbled on them later with no problem just not that great colld. I swear I've raed about that happening with a cat licking the babies mouth of the milk also.
2 people like this
@Michele21 (3099)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I have never heard of that! My husband can't stand it when I leave anything out on the counter..he is like "You never know what is going to get into it, bugs could crazy on (or in) it and you wouldn't know". I don't really know, I have never gotten sick because I left something out for a little while. But like if it was left out over night it would have to go in the trash!
2 people like this
@onabreak2 (1162)
• United States
6 Mar 07
It is true and I just heard about it this year. I have eaten re heated mashed potatoes but a lady i work with now use to work at a hospital and she said that most cases of food poisoning were from potatoes. I cant remember what kind it was though. But it is true. So be careful. Actually your not supposed to let food of any kind sit out and you are only supposed to keep it in the frig so many hours.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
well, good...at least i know i am not crazy because I could have sworn I read it somewhere since I didn't believe my mom. :)
@RobinJ (2501)
• Canada
5 Mar 07
I can not imagine any thing happening if the potato were eaten with in 3 hours, Is it possible your mom was talking a bout potato salad made with eggs and mayo. because if this is not kept chilled you will get food poisoning real bad it is called botulism and it can make you very sick and and in some instances kill you. You often hear when several guests at a BBQ or group gathering have gotten food poisoning. But mashed and boiled if not eaten just keep covered and if over night keep covered in the fridge, Cold potatoes can make some of the best dishes going. like potato pancakes, hash brown panfrys, Sheppard's pie, dutches potatoes, in fact there are potato cook books, Good food.
• United States
5 Mar 07
Nope...nothing with mayo. LOL Just potatoes. My mom is strange! Just kidding...I never really believed her, but thought I would ask if anyone else ever heard this. :)
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I've never head of this either, at least not specifically about potatoes....although I would say that for most leftovers they would be stored in the refridgerator. Batceria and other icky stiff like warm/room temperatur places better than they do extreme hot or cold. I usually only leave stuff out for 30 min to an hour at most. Then it goes into the fridge to be reheated at a later time. Some food probably have a longer tolerance for being left out than others....for example, things with dairy probably spoil faster. I think it would take a long time (like overnight) for something to really go bad. You sound like a pretty careful cook, so I am sure you have nothing to worry about.
• United States
5 Mar 07
Exactly..I don't leave stuff out for long at all and if, for some reason I forget to put it away overnight, it goes in the trash. :) Thanks so much
@Lindalinda (4118)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
I never heard of this before. Now, it is not a good idea to let food stand on the counter. It should be put in the fridg immediately. I never throw out leftover mashed potatoes or baked potatoes. I sometimes use them for a new dish such as breakfast hash, or shepherd's pie which is a baked dish with cooked ground beef, corn and tomatoe sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and cheese and baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and the dish cooked trough.If I have left over baked potatoes I make twice baked potatoes. I scoop ou the potatoe mash the pulp add a little cream or sour cream, refill the shells, top with cheese and bake until bubbly, then I top them with fried onions or freshly steamed broccoli.
@greengal (4288)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Frankly, I've never heard of such a thing at all. I bet it is a superstition and nothing more. I often do that myself, leae half eaten food stuff, including baked potatoes outside. I do this only during the day since I don't want to refrigerate it as I plan to consume the rest before the day ends. I've never been poisoned so I guess it's all hogwash..lol Maybe it was true in the olden days when hygiene wasn't very good and food of any kind was prone to bacteria and germs when left outside or uncovered.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5945)
• United States
6 Mar 07
i have not heard this. i have heard that eating raw potatoes can make you sick. My daughter likes them, I like them, my mother ate them, So I do not see much proof of it!LOL I wonder if anything is really good for us? They change it so often. Eat lots of this, no never eat this, oh well, you can eat it some times!LOL I do not worry so much unless it is like the peanut butter thing and is a recall.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Don't know where this came from but potato's don't really need to be refrig. before or after cooked unless its what you put on them that could spoil like sour creme or other things. Even left over pizza is ok at room temp over night with no problems.
1 person likes this
@ChewySpree (1835)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Potatoes by themselves won't hurt you under this scenario, but if you put any dairy-based product on them, or egg based product, then leave them out at room temperature for awhile, that could make you sick if you eat it later. That's why things like potato salad (with mayonnaise containing egg) should not sit out for very long, especially during the summer.
@wez8301 (66)
• India
6 Mar 07
i htink u r horrified by half news ,i mean to say how anything can be poisonious by just keepig it in cold place. i don't think this can happen becoz i eaten several times boiled & cold potatos & i m still alive.
@ronita34 (3925)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
Now you got me thinking because i too think that i have heard this once before also. I am not sure though how true it is or not but i know that i have saved mashed potatoes in the refridgerator many times and re heated them and nothing has happened to us ... LOL! Although i am definately thinking twice about doing this again ... LOL!!
@classy56 (2884)
• United States
6 Mar 07
i have never heard of this an my husband eat leftover potatoes all the time.an my grandma would leave her food out for hours on the table an go back an eat it for supper{coved up of course}.but it is true about the cat takeing the baby breath away.the cat will try an suck the babys milk out of it mouth.an it will cause the baby to suffocate.so some of your moms old wives tale are true.
1 person likes this
@kurasuda (90)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
i havent heard bout that....
1 person likes this
@aryan77 (73)
• India
6 Mar 07
Hi dis is Deepak From india I Hd gone through ur article i hv heard first time that this sillt thing can happen ( that is cold potatoes can become poison) any ways Thanx for telling i will look for more on this Article and reply to u..... bye
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
I never heard such story. Well, in our family we used to eat food that we left from our previous meal. Maybe some desease would occur if the food you left is not covered and then some insects like cockroaches or rats eat your food and then you eat it too.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Mar 07
Hmmm, this is a new one on me. I've never heard this before lol. I've eaten boiled potatoes that have been elft to go cold many times and I never got ill ... unless you count the lack of brain cells LOL (j/k) I think the only time you could get food poisoning is if you left them out overnight and then ate them the next day. I know some food can go off very quickly if left out, but I don't think it would matter if you ate them or refridgerated them the same day.
1 person likes this
@Foxxee (3654)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Well, I have ate mashed potatoes and baked potatoes after they sat out for a little while. I have kids and I always run back and forth and my dinner is always cold. So I think that is a false and you should be okay. But, about the cat thing, that is some what true. Cats do like laying on the chest of humans and they do take the breath away of humans, but it doesn't effect adults, but to a baby, yeah, it is serious and has happened. You never heard about that? They tell you to make sure that if you have a cat, make sure that the cat is in another room when the baby is sleeping. I had a cat that loved laying on my chest and I have woke up lots of times with him literally trying to put his mouth/nose in my mouth and it felt like he was breathing inside me and it made me gasp a little. So I can imagine that an infant could probably die. Something like sids maybe? It's weird. Plus a cat can lay on the babies face, and they do that because I have seen that. :)
1 person likes this
@NatureBoy (493)
• Singapore
6 Mar 07
Well, everything that is food is decomposable. It doesn't really have to be cold potatoes chaygl. Bacteria growth and decomposition sets in. So, its quite a good habit to deal with food the proper way. Cheers to a healthy lifestyle.
1 person likes this