In many relationships, there is usually one person who is the cook.
That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily born chefs. However, their eagerness to cook should be met with appreciation. It’s the thought that counts, right?
That wasn’t the case in the following scenario.
You see, Redditor Artistic-Lobster6836 is very conscientious about food preparation and storage.
This became a point of contention between them and their spouse, who thought he was doing something nice for them by cooking leftover chicken.
After two attempts to come to an understanding failed, they visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for refusing to eat food my partner made, after it was left out overnight?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“This morning when we woke up, my partner told me that he cooked the chicken that was in our fridge before going to bed, because he didn’t want it to go to waste.”
“He said he finished cooking around midnight and was too tired to let it cool before refrigerating it, so he left it on the stove.”
“We’ve talked about food storage before, and I’ve told him I won’t eat meat that has been left out for more than two hours, because everything I’ve read says after that time, bacteria starts multiplying at a rapid rate.”
“So again, I told him I won’t eat it, and I won’t let our toddler eat it either.”
“He got angry and said he was trying to do something nice and his mom always cooks this way and it’s been fine. I said if he could show me one article that says it’s okay to eat meat that’s been left out for over 7 hours, I’d consider it, but otherwise, he was free to do as he chose, but our child and I would not be eating it.”
“He was in a bad mood for a few hours, and later this evening when he seemed in a better mood, I tried to talk about it again, to get him to understand my perspective.”
“He again was upset and said he had been trying to do something nice, but I asked, if we’ve had this discussion before and he knew I’m against eating meat that’s been left out, how is it being nice to me?”
“It’s forcing me to either do something I don’t want to do, or, argue with him, which is not how I wanted to spend my day. I just don’t know how to be appreciative of someone doing something ‘for me’ that they know I won’t like.”
“The conversation ended poorly, with us arguing again, after he refused to acknowledge that we shouldn’t eat meat that’s been left out, and telling me that I have too many rules. Am I wrong here?”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed leaving chicken out overnight was not the best idea.
“Eating poultry that has been left out for that long puts you at risk for a variety of illnesses. It should go in the garbage. Without preservatives, cooked food of any kind starts to go bad in a matter of hours.”
“After seven hours, oh no! That requires going to the hospital.” – IraRomero
“Yeah, I wouldn’t have eaten that chicken either, but pizza usually uses cured meats and IF the food has been thoroughly cooked it’s not as big a risk as some people make out.”
“Again, I don’t want to eat it, but leaving a pot of stew on the stove for several days and just reheating it ahead of eating was a done thing for a long time.” – ballookey
“NTA and OP’s partner is a major one. Does he not care about his child’s health at all??? just because mommy always made it like this and never an issue does not mean it is the ‘Safe’ or ‘Correct’ way of doing.”
“One of my mother’s habits is doing something that we told her a million times not to do and she still does it and expect us to be grateful and appreciative despite it adding more work on us.”
“For example, after my sister’s finish the laundry and get ready to hang it, she will sneakily gather everything in the laundry room in trach bags and take it to the dry cleaning, NO MATTER WHAT THE ITEM IS, which then means that even undergarments are taken and then when i ask her why the hell would she do that she will claim she didn’t know what items were there she just scoops everything.”
“she then sticks me with the cleaning bill and gets weepy, accusing us not appreciating her efforts and everything she does.”
“OP, your husband is an idi*t, he stubbornly cooks something so late (so it does not go to waste) then because its late and he is tired, leaves it on the open and expects you to shower him with praises and risk your health and that of his child for what? his ego?” – chandrachur3
“My little red devil of a dog would eat it, bones and all, even if he had to pull it off the stove top. He once pulled a pumpkin pie off the stove top where I had left it to cool, and ate about two thirds of it, including the shattered Pyrex glass pie plate it had been baked in.”
“And no, OP is NTA for being concerned about food safety. I had to throw out fried chicken my partner left out from lunch because it wouldn’t be safe to eat after being on the counter for 8 hours at room temp.”
“Anything between 40-140 deg F is considered the danger zone for rapid bacterial growth. Ask any restaurant Sanitation inspector and they will agree that food needs to be rapidly cooled and stored correctly to be safe .” – Plastic-Ad-5171
“NTA (which seems obviously to everyone but your husband, apparently).”
“His gesture of ‘niceness’ is actually him posturing as a victim. My dad did this a ton, and it’s really uncomfortable and annoying.”
“If you can, try not to play into it? Hopefully he’ll either get bored of playing victim in his pseudo generosity/kindness, or he’ll do some counselling and mature into having healthier conversation and conflict resolution habits (and food safety practices lol).” – i_luv_coffee14
“NTA if he wants to cook he needs to learn food safety. Food poisoning is no joke, and there was no reason to not put the food away in time so everyone could enjoy it later.” – MightbeabitMagic
“NTA. I had a similar issue with my MIL. When fiancé and I were younger we lived with her. She’d make a pot of chili, leave it on the stove, in the same pot, for 2-3 days and rewarm it for dinner each night, IN THE SAME POT.”
“She’d be furious that we wouldn’t eat it. But that’s just nasty. They make storage containers and refrigerators for a reason 🥴” – supb*tch1010
“NTA. I have an aunt who does this for parties, she cooks everything when she gets up in the morning and leaves it out all day until whenever the party is.”
“Multiple people have gotten food poisoning. Leaving food sitting out all night is not safe.” – Worth_Raspberry_11
“Food safety issues aside, I have a hard time dealing with people who give ‘gifts’ or perform acts of ‘kindness’ centered only around what they want to give or do, or would appreciate receiving themselves. ‘I thought you would like this because I do, even though you’ve told me repeatedly you don’t like it.’”
“It’s not an act of thoughtful generosity if you aren’t actually thinking about the recipient. It’s a trap. It creates a situation in which the recipient feels guilty and indebted to the giver, and has to either lie and pretend to be grateful or be honest and look like the ungrateful bad guy who’s hurt the giver’s feelings.”
“I grew up under a mother like this. I call it toxic gift giving. I think my mom often had good intentions, but she’s a covert narcissist and doesn’t know how to give good gifts because she’s incapable of seeing and accepting people as separate independent beings with their own unique tastes and preferences.”
“She’s motivated less by the desire to make someone else happy than she is by the desire to be viewed as a kind and generous person, to feel good about herself and earn gratitude or appreciation from others, and to create a situation in which others are indebted to her.”
“She also really enjoys being the victim. Martyrs herself constantly. So either way it’s a win. She earns praise or she gets to play the victim if her ungrateful daughter fails to appreciate her kindness.”
“I don’t know if your partner has a habit of doing this in other situations, or if this is just a one-off. But for me, it would be very triggering. An act of kindness would be listening to you, respecting your concerns about health and safety, and finding other ways to be helpful and thoughtful that actually are helpful and thoughtful. This is neither. NTA.” – Predd1tor
Overall, Redditors sided with the OP as not the a**hole for being cautious for their health and safety.