Is it safe (to eat)?
February 12, 2019 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Last night, I took a container of frozen, cooked, shredded chicken out of the freezer while putting stuff away and forgot to put it back. This morning, about twelve hours later, I discovered it on top of the fridge. It had thawed and reached room temperature. I immediately labeled it and put it back in the fridge. Given that it was cooked and had been frozen, is it still edible or should I write it off?
posted by suetanvil to Food & Drink (20 answers total)
You don't know when it reached room temperature. And shredded? Gone.
posted by sageleaf at 10:22 AM on February 12, 2019 [17 favorites]

Write it off. Don't mess with chicken.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 10:29 AM on February 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

Toss it.
posted by terrapin at 10:29 AM on February 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

I mean, it might still be edible if you ate it now - let's imagine that you are on a journey in a society without refrigeration in which you might eat some cooked meat that you'd packed in the morning in the evening. But it certainly shouldn't be let go any longer, and I feel like unless you actually need it because of brokeness, you probably shouldn't eat it now.
posted by Frowner at 10:32 AM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Absolutely not.
posted by Automocar at 10:37 AM on February 12, 2019

sadly no. you don't know how long it had been sitting there at room temperature.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:43 AM on February 12, 2019

Nope nope nope, sorry. I live pretty dangerously and even I would not touch this.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:44 AM on February 12, 2019

i guess it depends on how badly you want diarrhea.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:51 AM on February 12, 2019 [8 favorites]

Is cooking it in a stew an option? I'd (probably) do that.
posted by tapir-whorf at 10:56 AM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm somewhat cavalier about food safety, and I wouldn't eat it.
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm a daredevil by Mefi 'would-you-eat-this' standards and I really don't think I would.
posted by praemunire at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hell to the nope.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:39 AM on February 12, 2019

Fully cooked, frozen, out overnight? I’ll be the voice of dissent and say I’d totally eat it.

Caveat: I hate food waste and seem to be even more cavalier than praemunire wrt local standards, but I’ve never got sick off any of the iffy things I’ve eaten. (Though I spent 2 years drinking unboiled raw milk out of old 2L beer bottles on the regular whilst living in Romania, perhaps I just have a Teflon stomach.)
posted by myotahapea at 11:39 AM on February 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

My wife often calls me a goat for my ability to eat expired, "left out", or 7+ day old leftovers from the fridge with never an ill effect. Like praemunire I self-judge myself to be one of the more daring mefites regarding eating it.

If there was nothing else I wanted to eat at home, *and* if this chicken was *really* good (I.E. if I were desperate), I would have eaten first thing in the morning upon discovery it was left out overnight (I'm assuming in a somewhat sealed container). After it went back into the fridge for an hour+ that option has disappeared.

You've already put it back in the fridge this morning - this goat says green bin it when you get home.
posted by nobeagle at 11:41 AM on February 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

so as to not abuse the edit window:

*within reason; e.g. I’d do a sniff/taste test, and if it wasn’t slimy/obviously off-tasting or -smelling I’d eat it, but endeavour to do so as quickly as possible.

posted by myotahapea at 11:44 AM on February 12, 2019

I take frozen chicken out of the freezer at 8am and leave it out on the counter at work so it's thawed for lunch. When I eat lunch at noon it is not only thawed but at room temp. I do this all the time. I did it today. So, in four hours your chicken was probably thawed and at room temp. That means it was at room temp for at least 8 hours before you found it and put it in the fridge. Which is far too many hours in the danger zone.

Toss it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:02 PM on February 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

Was the container sealed the whole time? And how long was it frozen?

You cooked the chicken, killing the bacteria it came with. You shredded it in a bowl with some forks, or with your hands, or whatever. Likely those implements had acquired some bacteria, but they were also clean enough to eat off of at the time. You then sealed the chicken in a clean container and froze it, making dormant any bacteria. Then you took it out and thawed it in the container, which if sealed means no new bacteria introduced.

If it was sealed the whole time, I'd personally give it the sniff test and, if it smelled okay, I'd eat it. It's taking a chance, and while I'm not one of those iron-stomach types, I do practice a certain amount of neglect in my kitchen. Bacteria needs an opportunity to get in/on the food in order to chow down and get toxic. Unless you contaminated the cooked chicken, there was very little around, and most of it was stuff that is already in the air around your kitchen.

If it smelled okay (and that's practically a certainty) I'd eat it myself; I'd probably not feed it to others, because I take chances for myself that I won't take for other people.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Do not eat it. It's not worth it.
posted by uberchet at 8:08 AM on February 13, 2019

Ick. No.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 1:45 PM on February 14, 2019

Wow. Well, I guess that's a consensus. The chicken has been greenbinned.
posted by suetanvil at 10:13 AM on February 15, 2019

« Older School trip to Portland, STEM style   |   Looking for article about vaccines, autism, and... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.