Frozen chicken left out

Three packages off frozen chicken breasts were accidentally left out overnight;in one package, the interior is still partially frozen...can I use? Other packages of breasts still cool to the touch.

Nancy Tharpe


ChefOno May 24, 2012

I always enjoy hearing back / results / successes / failures so thank you for that. Most of these threads become stories without an ending.

On record as willing to eat the referenced bird myself, I am certain there was no danger from this situation. However… You should be aware that pets are not immune to salmonellosis and other foodborne diseases. And even if they're asymptomatic, they can be infectious for weeks after exposure, transmitting the bacteria to their owners and others they come in contact with.

Good news, I'm sure they love you more now than before (as if that were possible). Bad news: Next time they smell chicken roasting, you're in for a hounding.

Nancy T. May 23, 2012
Here's an update from the questioner: I cooked the chicken, and although I think it would have been just fine, my husband said "throw it out." So the dogs got some good eatin' that night.

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno May 13, 2012

Assuming we are talking about raw chicken here:

A smart cook treats *all* chicken as if it were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. In my kitchens we call chicken juice "salmonella juice" to remind ourselves of the danger.

I see nothing in the information provided that would cause me to throw it out or even take any extra precautions. Practice good kitchen hygiene, cook the chicken to 165F and you'll be fine.

Linn May 13, 2012
WHEN IN DOUBT, THROUGH IT OUT. Maybe, if the interior is still frozen, the outside is still cold enough to inhibit the growth of unfriendly bacteria. But chicken is notorious for its ability to carry mischief. Personally I would not take the risk.
boulangere May 13, 2012
There was a thread about this not long ago. Unfortunately, I get the chocolate baguette when I try to search for it. I'd suggest taking the temperature of the unfrozen ones. If it's above 40 degrees, I'd suggest tossing them.
Benny May 13, 2012
By over-night, are we talking 6-8 hours, or 8-12 hours?

I would say if the center is indeed still partially frozen and the rest still cool to the touch as you say, it will probably be okay. Just be sure to fully cook those breasts.

Recommended by Food52