Author Topic: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?  (Read 56064 times)

Offline Jemima

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Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« on: June 03, 2009, 12:53:01 AM »
I was very disgusted with myself this morning when I realized that I had left out a pot of chicken I put to boil last night.

It was just a couple chicken breasts, covered with water, boiled till done. Then I turned it off and let it cool. I failed to put it in the fridge before going to bed, and now I'm wondering, is there any chance it might be ok?

Could I re-boil it? Any one done this, or know if it's too big a risk?

Offline Leah IL

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 01:32:52 AM »
There will be differing opinions on this I'm sure, but I would still use it  ;)
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Offline brightspot

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 01:34:18 AM »
I got food poisoning from a chicken casserole that someone had left out overnight then brought to a potluck. I don't think I would risk it. At the very least, I'd cook it again!

Offline lovingmomof2

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 03:07:03 AM »
I never risk it.  Better safe than sorry. 
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Offline kper

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 03:27:34 AM »
I would change water and re-boil. Actually, I  might not even change the water!  ::) :o

We leave stuff out all the time, and 90% of the time I still use it. Like the cooked maceroni that was left on the counter from last night's dinner will be Mac n'cheese for lunch.

Of course, I always reheat or boil it throughly before I use it.

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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2009, 03:53:48 AM »
I actually do this quite a bit, but with chicken bones, meat still left on them somewhat.

After a chicken dinner, I throw the bones in a pot to simmer after supper. At bedtime, I throw a lid on it, turn off the burner and forget about it. Next morning, I bring back to a boil, and simmer a few more hours. Makes superb chicken stock and I have never had a problem with it.

Just my .02. ;)
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Offline AndysJess

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2009, 07:22:13 AM »
Now I'm aggravated with myself...I cooked 2 chickens last week, took the meat off the bones, threw the carcasses back into the water,added chopped carrots, onions and spices and boiled for like 15 more hours.  After all that hard work, I forgot about the stock.  I didn't remember til the next day.  I threw it all away!!!  UGH!!!
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Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2009, 07:28:20 AM »
No way I'd eat it :o Sometimes you can get away with eating left out food but as it was in the danger zone (not hot enough or cold enough) there is a good chance it contains bad bacteria. You might be OK but you could get really sick. That said my father in law always leaves his food in the turned off oven overnight and eats it the next day. However this is the same man that leaves leftover soup in the fridge for weeks and still eats it. He says he likes the slightly tangy taste :D JMHO :)
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Offline boysmama

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2009, 08:17:06 AM »
I would boil it for several more hrs and keep it.

 Be extra careful not to leave recipes made with this batch to set around, and I would avoid feeding it to anyone with a compromised immune system.
Anything bad will be dead if your reboil for a long time, but there might be by products left that are hard on a young baby, ill person, or elderly person.

Offline Jemima

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2009, 09:16:54 AM »
Thanks for all the input!

Well, I used it anyway.  :o  ;D I did pour out the water, and boil it for awhile first, though. Tasted as good as ever, but I guess the effect on our stomachs remains to be seen.  :o  ::)

Everyone's got a different opinion, it seems, so I guess you go with your gut instinct and hope for the best.

Offline CountyCork

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 08:05:45 AM »
Rule of thumb is no more than 4 hours left out for the protein foods - meat, eggs, dairy.  And that's in a normal kitchen, not hot or sunny or anything. 

Yet, I stayed at a camp for several days and the people there did not refrigerate the eggs, mayonaise, meat, and many many other things.  They swore they raised their kids that way, no on ever got sick.

So one day while we were there they cooked a couple turkeys and we had a big turkey dinner.  They left the turkeys out, covered loosely, still on the bone, on the counter, 75 degree day and 60 at night.  Next day picked the meat off and make enchiladas for lunch. 

My kids and I ate the enchiladas, my husband did not.  3 of the 4 of us had the runs pretty awful that night - we had to pull over 3 times just for me to find a potty on the drive home.  Horrid cramps.  And I was 12 weeks pregnant.

Never again!  Sticking with the 4 hour rule here :)


Offline petrimama

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2009, 09:03:18 AM »
I think people get used to it.  My dh grew up with a mom very lax in refrigeration, and to this dy they all have steel stomachs but everyone around them suffers.  :-)  ~L

Offline momof1

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2009, 12:17:21 PM »
I have a question, I made lemon chicken and was going to boil it in the crock pot all day.  I seared the chicken but did not cook it all the way through. Turns out I had the crock pot on warm and not low.  When I checked the temp it was about 140.  This was left for about 6 hours.  I have it boiling away now.  WOuld you use it or no?

Offline doggymom22

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 12:45:17 PM »
I would still use it...140 is pretty hot!! You are supposed to cook pork 'till it's at 180...I'm sure that 140 is hot enough for chicken.

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Offline boysmama

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2009, 05:27:11 AM »
Rule of thumb is no more than 4 hours left out for the protein foods - meat, eggs, dairy.  And that's in a normal kitchen, not hot or sunny or anything. 

Yet, I stayed at a camp for several days and the people there did not refrigerate the eggs, mayonaise, meat, and many many other things.  They swore they raised their kids that way, no on ever got sick.

So one day while we were there they cooked a couple turkeys and we had a big turkey dinner.  They left the turkeys out, covered loosely, still on the bone, on the counter, 75 degree day and 60 at night.  Next day picked the meat off and make enchiladas for lunch. 

My kids and I ate the enchiladas, my husband did not.  3 of the 4 of us had the runs pretty awful that night - we had to pull over 3 times just for me to find a potty on the drive home.  Horrid cramps.  And I was 12 weeks pregnant.

Never again!  Sticking with the 4 hour rule here :)


Dh grew up with minimal refridgeration, but they always reboiled everything. For example they would have picked the meat and reboiled it for awhile before making enchiladas.

Offline boysmama

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2009, 05:29:32 AM »
I would still use it...140 is pretty hot!! You are supposed to cook pork 'till it's at 180...I'm sure that 140 is hot enough for chicken.

JMO!
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Safe temp for chicken is 165*.

Offline mom24boys

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2009, 08:29:51 AM »
At 140 degrees, there is no proliferation of bacteria, according to my food handlers class. They said 140* or 40* - it's the in-between temps that are dangerous.
 
Another consideration is that the chicken was seared first so it wasn't brought to the 140* slowly.  Bone-in poultry is "done" at 165*

So, I would say that there would probably be no "spoilage" of the chicken but just to be prudent, make sure it gets cook all the way through and is at a high temp for at least 5 minutes... so boiling would do that.  Also, when you reheat in hot liquids, it is more likely to kill any bacteria that had started to proliferate because it gets into the nooks and crannies.

Personally, I would use it after getting it good and hot like this.

Like the above poster mentioned about the turkey left out -- if they had reheated the meat in the sauce before making the enchiladas, it would have been fine.

Offline lovetoreadmom

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2009, 05:20:58 PM »
I got food poisoning from a chicken casserole that someone had left out overnight then brought to a potluck. I don't think I would risk it. At the very least, I'd cook it again!

That was probably more from the other ingredients in it than the chicken itself.  If there's any milk, eggs, or other dairy or any type of creamy sauce in such a casserole, that's most likely the culprit for food poisoning.
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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2009, 06:18:06 AM »
Well I wouldn't have even thought to ask this question except that I read these posts yesterday, just because it looked interesting.  ;) Last night I put chicken breasts, veggies, rice, water, etc, in the crock pot to cook. This morning I found that it wasn't even plugged in!  :-\  Would it be different/more risky, do you think, because the meat was raw?

Thanks!

Offline andiki

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2009, 06:54:55 AM »
I think people get used to it.  My dh grew up with a mom very lax in refrigeration, and to this dy they all have steel stomachs but everyone around them suffers.  :-)  ~L

I think you're right. If you were raised that way, your digestive and inmune sistem get used to it. It's like the child who plays in the dirt and never gets sick and the other one who has never be in the dirt and the day he plays outside, he gets sick.

Sometimes, I left the food outside overnight, but depending on the season. Summertime is very hot here, so, if you do that you could probably have a bacteria stock next day. But on wintertime there's not problem about it. I would boil it and watch for suspicious bubbles.

Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Cooked chicken left out overnight - is it safe?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2009, 02:39:01 PM »
Well I wouldn't have even thought to ask this question except that I read these posts yesterday, just because it looked interesting.  ;) Last night I put chicken breasts, veggies, rice, water, etc, in the crock pot to cook. This morning I found that it wasn't even plugged in!  :-\  Would it be different/more risky, do you think, because the meat was raw?

Thanks!

I would still use it, but I would definitely cook it nice and long. As in all day. Not too much goes to waste at our house, mostly b/c hubby's hours are cut waaayyy back and we are grateful for whatever we can cook up to eat around here. Literally.

Can't wait for that garden to kick into high gear.  ;)
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