I put a roast in the crock pot at 6 this morning and cooked it on high until 11. I accidentally turned it off (thinking I was turning it to low) and left the house to do stuff with my kids. Got home at 4 and realized it was off. The liquid/roast was still warm, but not hot (just measured -- liquid is about 100F and roast about 95F).
If I turn the heat on low and finish cooking it, will it be safe to eat? I don't want to make the family sick, but I also don't want to toss a huge grass fed beef roast!
Normally I'd err on the side of caution. But because you probably didn't keep opening it and recontaminating it with air, the whole thing should be pasteurized. Since it only got down to around 100 degrees, you're probably be fine. Cook it to death if you're still concerned.
Thanksgiving was last week, I'm sure 1000s of roast turkeys sit out longer and got down to more dangerous tempertures than your roast did (not to mention didn't get dozens of people's hands picking over it). I'm talking myself into eating your roast, when is dinner? ;)
I'm admittedly paranoid because I've survived several incidents of food poisoning and don't want to EVER do it again. :-))
If the roast was still warm, and the room was cool enough that it wouldn't have stayed warm for an excessive time (think maximum bacterial growth) I would keep it but I would deliberately bring the whole batch to a high simmer (low boil) for at least 20 minutes. On my crockpot, that would be the high setting for 1-2 hours.
My purpose would be to beat back the growth that might have occurred.
I'm usually a better safe than sorry kind of girl, but I really think it would fine. Crock pots hold heat very well, so it wasn't at 100F the whole time you were gone--probably only for the last hour or two. It would have been much hotter before that, especially since you were cooking it on high. Also, the fact that it was covered the whole time as Matt mentioned makes a difference, too. I would eat it.