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Time Until Spoilage for Raw Chicken

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 02, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Hello everyone,

Last night I purchased a raw whole chicken from my local grocery store and wasn't able to get home to put it in the refrigerator until about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half later. The chicken was still pretty cool to the touch, but I was unsure if it was safe to cook and eat tonight.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Jared

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on October 03, 2012
at 09:32 AM

Agreed, I use the smell test. Also, if the meat has a slick coating on it that doesn't rinse off immediately, it has probably started to go bad. In my experience it is extremely obvious when chicken starts to go bad... you won't want to eat it. If the chicken was fresh to begin with, sitting in a car for an hour an a half probably isn't a huge problem. A whole chicken would also probably keep better than parts.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:36 PM

My guess is it's fine. Doesn't sound like it came near room temp if it was cool the whole time. And it wasn't sitting in the car in 90 degree summer heat, right? I say cook & eat.

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3 Answers

2
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on October 02, 2012
at 11:30 PM

The thing about chicken is that it will smell bad often even before it is bad. If your chicken smells okay, you're likely quite safe to eat it. I probably wouldn't advise eating it raw, but that's not your plan, I'm sure.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on October 03, 2012
at 09:32 AM

Agreed, I use the smell test. Also, if the meat has a slick coating on it that doesn't rinse off immediately, it has probably started to go bad. In my experience it is extremely obvious when chicken starts to go bad... you won't want to eat it. If the chicken was fresh to begin with, sitting in a car for an hour an a half probably isn't a huge problem. A whole chicken would also probably keep better than parts.

0
99ac392257e444e014be6d4da6a900e4

(1036)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:13 PM

I'm getting chicken from my farmer tomorrow. Let him know this was a concern since I'd be at work for 4 hours after I meet him. He said up to 4 hours at room temp is ok according to state regulations (Nebraska).

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:47 PM

It should be fine, especially since it was still cool to the touch.

there are a number of factors that you have to consider.

1) What was the temperature of the car?

2) What was the temperature of the chicken at the grocery?

3) Was it previously frozen?

According to USDA:

Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 ° and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the "Danger Zone." That's why the Meat and Poultry Hotline advises consumers to never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out more than 1 hour.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/how_temperatures_affect_food/index.asp

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