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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. 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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