How Long Can Chicken Sit Out
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How Long Can Chicken Sit Out? It depends on whether it’s raw, cooked, at room temperature or in the fridge. We’ve all been there. You took out the chicken to thaw in the fridge and completely forgot about it. Should you throw it out or is it still safe to cook? Or how about those leftovers from lunch? Can they be eaten for dinner if they weren’t kept in the fridge for a couple of hours?
Chicken is the affordable and versatile protein that most of us have in our freezer. Before cooking, the chicken must be thawed. It’s important to practice proper health and safety guidelines when cooking and consuming chicken in order to avoid getting sick.
How Long Can Cooked Chicken Sit Out?
You can safely leave cooked chicken out at room temperature for about 2 hours, according to the USDA. Cooked chicken that has been out for more than 2 hours can make you sick and should be discarded. If it’s very hot in your area (above 90 degrees), the cooked chicken should be discarded after just one hour at room temperature.
How Long Can Raw Chicken Sit Out?
You can leave raw chicken out at room temperature for 2 hours maximum. Beyond that, bacteria start to grow rapidly and there is a risk of food poisoning. If you live in a very hot area (above 90 degrees), raw chicken should not be consumed after being left at room temperature for an hour.
Signs of Spoiled Chicken
Spoiled chicken may have a bad smell or have changed color to yellow, gray or green. If your chicken has a slimy appearance or looks unappealing in any way, you should consider discarding it. However, there are sometimes no discernible signs of spoiled chicken. Double-check the expiration date and when in doubt, toss it out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Safe to Eat Chicken That Was Left Out Overnight?
No. Chicken should be stored in the fridge or freezer if you’d like to eat it the following day. Both raw and cooked chicken should not be left out for more than two hours.
What Happens if You Eat Chicken That Was Left Out?
Chicken that is not properly stored quickly starts to grow bacteria, which multiplies rapidly. By eating chicken that has been left out for more than 2 hours, you risk getting sick with symptoms like vomiting, body aches, fever, chills and diarrhea.
How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge?
You can thaw frozen chicken by putting it in the fridge. Raw chicken should not be kept in the fridge for more than two days. For cooked chicken, toss anything that has been in the fridge for upwards of five days. For more details read how long cooked chicken is good for.
How Long Can Frozen Chicken Sit Out?
As a rule of thumb, frozen chicken should not sit out for more than 2.5 hours. Let the chicken thaw in the fridge instead.
Can Chicken Be Left Out Overnight to Thaw?
No. You need to do so in the refrigerator. Frozen chicken should not be left out for longer than two to three hours, and even shorter periods in warmer climates.