There have been many asking this question, 'left food out overnight is it safe?' The answer is NO. After two hours bacteria starts to build, which you cannot see. Toss it! BB
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I disagree. How long food remains safe to eat at room temperature is highly variable, depending on what the food is, how it was prepared, and how it was handled after preparation. Overnight is a bit long for many foods, but two hours is an arbitrary and very short cutoff that would lead to unnecessary food waste. It's a judgement call -- everyone should make an informed decision that works for them. Uncured meat or fish, eggs, and uncultured dairy are the most likely to come contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, and rice can have spores that will germinate overnight and produce a toxin, but otherwise many foods are fine. Think of how many college students eat room temp pizza for breakfast with no ill effects. For over a decade I've routinely kept my lunch (vegetarian leftovers) at room temp through the morning also without any trouble. I often cook beans in the evening, and then leave them covered to cool overnight -- they are nearly sterile anyways after cooking if they haven't been handled.
Thank you for the reply, dinner at ten!
My answer is from the USDA website. The questions on this site have been about cooked food left out 'overnight' in slow cookers, slow cooker didn't heat food and was lukewarm for 8 hours, forgot to put food (rice) in fridge, cooked food now at room temperature for hours.
Yes, I agree with you on lunches, but the left out pizza, no. A family I knew all got food poisoning from unrefrigerated pizza. I follow When in doubt, throw it out. BB
Here is the site on food safety
It may or may not make someone sick, but there's not way WE can know that. So the answer needs to be no. If you've ever had food poisoning you won't even hesitate.
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