Can I Eat It, Open Fridge Edition
October 29, 2021 5:51 AM   Subscribe

My husband left the refrigerator door open last night. I had a package of bacon and a whole chicken on the bottom shelf, which I keep pretty cold. This morning, there’s condensation on the outside of the chicken and the bacon, but they were both cold to my touch. Can we still eat those, or do I need to give them the old heave ho? The fridge was open for around six hours, maybe a bit more.
posted by holborne to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
Sealed bacon would be fine in my book, assuming it's normal bacon it's chock full of preservatives and has been kept cool.

If you have a meat thermometer with the proper range you could check the inside of the chicken (most modern digital products are good down into the mid 30F range). I'd personally also eat that, but today, and cooked thoroughly.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:58 AM on October 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's fine.
posted by rocketman at 6:03 AM on October 29, 2021

Cook the chicken today, and eat the bacon whenever, it's fine!
posted by DarlingBri at 6:07 AM on October 29, 2021 [5 favorites]

I would eat the bacon without a second thought, and I'll tell you what, I'd probably cook that chicken and then try to eat it and get scared and throw it away.

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and just whisper "just toss it now" into my ear instead of putting all the effort into cooking it just to toss it.
posted by pazazygeek at 6:47 AM on October 29, 2021 [12 favorites]

Save (and eat) the bacon. Have the husband take you out for a nice chicken dinner as "punishment" for leaving the fridge door open. (Toss the chicken on the unlikely chance it went bad. Confidence in eating food is key. Wondering if you are going to get sick is soooo not worth it and I generally am willing to eat anything left out. Not chicken.)
posted by AugustWest at 7:09 AM on October 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

I am moderately cautious from a food safety perspective. I'd eat the bacon and throw away the chicken. It's probably OK, but I'm much more cautious with poultry than with other stuff.
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:16 AM on October 29, 2021

I would cook the chicken to 165 and eat it, personally. I cannot imagine the bacon isn't fine, either.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:24 AM on October 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's totally fine, cook the heck out of the chicken if you're at all worried.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:46 AM on October 29, 2021

I would eat both with no worries. But I always cook my chickens through. For extra safety, maybe cook the chicken in a soup or stew rather than roast it, to be sure it is cooked through. There are tons of great recipes.
posted by mumimor at 8:59 AM on October 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I would be certain to cook the chicken thoroughly, but would not worry a bit. The fridge worked harder, used more electricity, with the door ajar, but it stayed cold.
posted by theora55 at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

If that chicken is bad, cooking it thoroughly won’t help. Food science, yo.
posted by HotToddy at 11:29 AM on October 29, 2021 [6 favorites]

6 hours and the fridge was still running? Assuming the door was just slightly cracked open and not fully ajar, I suspect that it didn't heat up by much. Bacon in a sealed package is almost certainly fine. Chicken is probably ok, but I'd totally understand if you didn't feel comfortable and tossed it, and I'd definitely agree that if you do use it, it needs to be soon. Replacing food is always cheaper than a hospital stay.
posted by Aleyn at 11:42 AM on October 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

If any food product is contaminated, whether or not cooking will make it safe depends on the bacteria. I'd cook it esp. thoroughly because of my feeling, I believe the chicken has been sufficiently chilled to be safe.
posted by theora55 at 12:53 PM on October 29, 2021

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