How Long Can Raw Chicken Be Left Out Of The Fridge?


Question: How long can raw chicken sit out? I accidentally left a bag of groceries that contained some raw chicken breasts on the kitchen counter for about 4 hours. I'm worried about the chicken still being safe.

Answer: Unfortunately, your chicken is no longer safe to eat.

How long can raw chicken sit at room temperature?  

You can safely leave raw chicken out at room temperature for about two hours — or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — says the United States Department of Agriculture.

The reason is that bacteria grow rapidly when raw chicken is kept at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F.  If chicken has been left out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour above 90° F), the bacteria can multiply to the point where the chicken is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.

See Also:

Should You Rinse Raw Chicken Before Cooking It?

Do You Have To Thaw Frozen Chicken Before Cooking It?

How Long Can You Leave Frozen Chicken in the Freezer?

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