How risky is eating this chicken stew?

Food safety question:

Last night, in a classic, "I thought you were putting it away, honey!" miscommunication, I made a chicken stew that was then left on the stove for ~5.5 hours after the flame was turned off. Technically, we are not supposed to eat it, but how risky exactly is doing so, when the alternative might involve an extra trip to the grocery store which is its own risk? We are living in a time in which we have to make previously unnecessary tradeoffs of risk, and normal is no longer normal. Additional information for and against is below:

Pros (reasons to eat):
- it was near boiling when the stove was turned off, so it probably stayed hot (above 140˚ie the start of the danger zone), for a while
- it was cooked in a Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven, which holds the heat especially well, so it probably stayed above 140 for even longer (hours?)
- we (two adults, two kids) are leaving tonight for the weekend to a country house that has no food at it, in an area where restaurant delivery is not available. The plan was to bring our food with us so that we don't have to go to grocery stores etc due to COVID-19 - we are in NY state; this was supposed to be one of the 2 mains we were bringing with us. We don't have time to make a replacement before we leave and we can’t do any real cooking there.


Cons (reasons not to eat):
- sat out for 5.5 hours (6:30pm to midnight)
- when tasted at the end of the night, was just warmer than room temperature
- it's chicken. Bad things happen to chicken when it sits in the 40-140˚ "danger zone"
- getting food poisoning and having to go to the hospital in the time of COVID-19 is not a good idea
- we have other food, so we can make it through the weekend w/o going hungry. We'd just have to have things like yogurt, PB&J, eggs, etc for dinner instead.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Brooklynite
  • 96 views
  • 1 Comment

1 Comment

KLS May 4, 2020
Guess it's over now, but my thought: If you reheat to boiling, it "should" kill anything.
As an aside, my grandmother was notorious for not refrigerating things till long after they were cold. Not only that, she left them on top of the stove, and we picked at and ate it for a long time. Nothing bad ever happened.
I have also fallen asleep leaving things in their pots on the stove. I live to tell the tale.
Karen
 
Recommended by Food52