Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Quick Chicken Safety Question


sadistick
 Share

Recommended Posts

Need some advice -

I mistakenly left out a whole chicken last night (which was frozen solid) and this morning it was completely thawed and just slightly cool to the touch (though one could argue, room temp).

The question is, is it safe to still eat?

Perhaps I am being overly cautious, but better safe....

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd cook it and eat it. But 1) I have a healthy immune system; 2) I'm not adverse to risk; 3) I know where my chicken was raised.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Need some advice -

I mistakenly left out a whole chicken last night (which was frozen solid) and this morning it was completely thawed and just slightly cool to the touch (though one could argue, room temp).

The question is, is it safe to still eat?

Perhaps I am being overly cautious, but better safe....

Thanks!

What was the total time out of the fridge? It probably took 4-5 hours to thaw if it was just on the counter but if it was out for more than 8 hours total, you're probably better off getting another.

Edited to add: I've cooked chicken that I've left out before for longer than that but I usually make sure to cook it in a manner where the chicken will be held at bug killing temps for longer than the required bug zapping times. For example, soup that I plan on holding at > 145 for 15 minutes or more. That should be plenty of time to kill the excess bugs. Then all you have to worry about is off tastes from the start of decomp.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the US government would say that as long as it wasn't about 40F for at least 4 hours, it's still "safe." How long was "overnight?" Since you're going to be cooking it after the potential unsafe conditions, thus killing any bacteria, I'd go ahead and cook it and eat it. But I tend to play fast-and-loose with the rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How warm is your kitchen?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So let's see:

For around $10 you'd take the chance that you or anyone else you're feeding could end up seriously ill?

Or perhaps:

Then all you have to worry about is off tastes from the start of decomp.

I really have a hard time understanding this and all the other questions about potential food safety issues.

And NancyH already answered the question above. Properly.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So let's see:

For around $10 you'd take the chance that you or anyone else you're feeding could end up seriously ill?

I really have a hard time understanding this and all the other questions about potential food safety issues.

And NancyH already answered the question above. Properly.

I disagree. I've lived a considerable amount of time in places where poultry hangs at room temperature in the butcher's display window. Never a problem with those chickens -- and some of them were hanging SEVERAL hours at room temp. As a nation, we are WAY too uptight about food safety, and yet we allow and condone the most disgusting farming practices known to man.

I'll stand by my statement. If a person knows where the chicken came from -- and by "know" I mean the farmer's name, address, and goes there to buy chicken, and always says, "Yes, this looks clean and wholesome to me" -- then a few hours at room temperature isn't going to make a difference. It's a clean animal to begin with.

On the other hand, if a person is buying salmonella-infected, $0.49-per-pound, industrial, hormone-shot mutant chickens, then perhaps that person should reassess the wisdom of doing so.

This is why I get so ticked off when places like Sonoma Artisan are legislated out of business. There aren't a lot places the average American can buy meat and be 100% sure of getting a wholesome product. Every real farm that gets closed down is a win for Tyson and Hormel.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For some added info:

I left said chicken out at approximately 8PM last night.

It was placed in a bowl, on the granite counter top (which is cooler than room temp). It was rock solid when left out, in a 70 degree room.

I was up by 6AM and placed it in the fridge.

I am/was planning on roasting it in the oven, start the oven out at 475, put bird in, reduce to 400, and roast for an hour or so - Should make it safe? (I hope!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you know, many places outside of the USA the meat markets have their meats hanging in hot weather for the entire day with no refrigeration.

I think that's one of the reasons for some cultures which use heavy spices; to cover up stinky meat.

dcarch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A completely safe life isn't possible, is it.

One can never be sure that any bird has been handled properly. But if you know that it hasn't been, then why eat it?

That's my question. For $10, is it worth it?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd cook it and eat it. Your temperature range sounds about right.

NB - I live in one of those places where chickens get hung up from metal hooks in plain air and tropical weather. I haven't had a problem yet. (4.5 years and counting).

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given you weren't experiencing heat wave conditions inside the kitchen, I would go ahead and roast it, just ensuring you cook it thoroughly. I on the other hand would not do the same, here in Australia due to the high temps we have at the moment.

Debbie Skelton

The Food Collective

debsravingrecipes.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peking duck is hung to dry overnight.

dcarch

I'm with you. But just to play devil's advocate, duck can also be safely cooked medium-rare. Even with the "I know the rancher" chickens that I buy, I wouldn't hang a chicken overnight.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless your chicken was badly contaminated before it was frozen,or you're planning to make chicken tartare :-), you'll be just fine.

Why? Bacterial growth is a (nonlinear) function of temperature. From Modernist Cuisine, at a constant temperature of 68 degrees (the chicken's surface temp that is) it takes 18 hours to reach unsafe levels of salmonella. And your chicken's was likely considerably colder for much of the resting time.

The "4 hours at room temperature" that is often quoted is assuming a worst case of a room temperature of 107 degrees and a food item that's already at that temperature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's safe, even by the USDA's rather anal standards. The USDA decided to aggressively simplify food safety standards down to a single time and temperature range. 2 hours at ~120F is going to promote roughly the same amount of bacterial growth as 10 hours at 70F. Given that the USDA considers 2 hours at 120F safe, you can safely store food for at least 8 hours at room temperature and never get close to any danger. Given that your product spent less time at a lower temperature than that, it's going to be fine. I wouldn't take any additional precautions you wouldn't take with ordinary poultry. Enjoy your chicken!

Edited by Shalmanese (log)

PS: I am a guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...