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How Long Can Raw Ground Beef Be Left Out?

Question: How long can raw ground beef sit out? I went to a barbeque at a friend’s house and he left a plate of raw hamburgers sitting out for about an hour before he grilled them. I’m worried that the burgers weren’t safe. 

Answer: The burgers were probably fine. You can safely leave raw ground beef out at room temperature for 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 ground beef is kept at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F.  If ground beef has been left out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour above 90° F), harmful bacteria can multiply to the point where the ground beef is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.

See Also:

Is Raw Ground Beef OK If It’s Turning Brown?

Is it Safe to Eat a Burger That’s Still Pink Inside?

How Long Does Raw Ground Beef Last in the Fridge?

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