Can You Eat Chicken Left Out Overnight

Can You Eat Chicken Left Out Overnight? Solved (2023)

Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by Shari Mason

You’ve probably heard that you can’t eat chicken left out overnight. 

But is this true? Or is it just an old wives’ tale? 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the truth behind this myth and answer the question: can you eat chicken left out overnight?

Is It Safe To Eat Chicken Left Out Overnight?

chicken dish on a white plate

According to the USDA, eating chicken left at room temperature for longer than two hours is not safe. 

Cooked chicken should be refrigerated within two hours of being cooked to prevent bacteria growth. 

However, there are some circumstances where it may be safe to consume chicken that has been left out overnight. 

For example, if the chicken was kept in a cold environment, such as a refrigerator or cooler, it may still be safe to eat.  

Ultimately, it is important to use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to eat chicken that has been left out overnight. Find out if chicken should be at room temperature before cooking here.

How To Store Leftover Chicken

First, ensure the chicken is fully cooled before storing it in the fridge. The hot chicken will cause the other food in the fridge to spoil more quickly.

Next, place the chicken in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic. This will help to prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the chicken.

Finally, consume leftover chicken within three days. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases significantly.

Following these simple tips, you can enjoy delicious leftover chicken without worries.

Read: Ways To Make Frozen Chicken Patties Better

Will You Get Sick If You Eat Cooked Chicken Left Out Overnight?

woman having stomach ache

Yes, you might get sick if you eat chicken left out overnight. You can get food poisoning from eating chicken that contains bacteria.

The symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, you may also experience a high fever. 

If you think you’ve gotten food poisoning from eating chicken that was left out overnight, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Treatment will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. 

In most cases, however, you’ll need to drink plenty of fluids and get rest. You may also be given medication to help relieve your symptoms.

Signs That It Has Gone Bad

Here are some signs that your cooked chicken has gone bad:

  • The chicken has a sour or unpleasant odor.
  • The chicken is slimy or sticky to the touch.
  • The chicken has changed color, often becoming darker.
  • The chicken meat is beginning to separate from the bone.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out the cooked chicken and start again.

Is It Okay To Eat Rotisserie Chicken Left Out Overnight?

Depending on how it was stored, rotisserie chicken [1] left out overnight may be safe to eat.  

However, if the chicken was left at room temperature for more than two hours, it should be thrown out. This is because bacteria can grow rapidly on poultry not kept at a consistent temperature. 

When in doubt, it is always better to err on caution and throw out any chicken left out overnight. But can you eat cold cooked chicken?

Will Reheating It Make It Safe To Eat?

When it comes to food safety, there are a lot of myths and outdated information circulating. One common misconception is that reheating chicken will make it safe to eat. 

However, this is not the case. Bacteria can survive and even thrive in the reheating process. So, if you forget to refrigerate your chicken, it’s best to err on caution and throw it out. 

The only way to ensure that your chicken is safe is to cook it thoroughly and refrigerate it immediately.

So, next time you’re tempted to reheat that forgotten chicken, remember: when it comes to food safety, better safe than sorry.


Can chicken be left out overnight to thaw?

Yes, you can leave the chicken out overnight to thaw. Make sure to place it in a container on a plate or bowl so that any liquid that leaks doesn’t contaminate other food. You can also defrost chicken in the microwave or cold water.

What happens if you leave the chicken out for 12 hours?

If you leave the chicken out for 12 hours, it will start to spoil. The chicken will develop a slimy texture and an unpleasant odor.

Can you cook bacteria out of chicken?

Yes, you can cook bacteria out of chicken. Cooking at high temperatures (above 160 degrees Fahrenheit) will kill most bacteria. 

However, if the chicken is not cooked all through, it can still be a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s important to ensure that it is fully cooked before eating.

Is it safe to reheat chicken that has been left out overnight?

Yes, you can safely reheat chicken left out overnight if it was stored in a sealed container and did not reach a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When reheating the chicken, cook it until it is steaming hot throughout.

In Conclusion

It is not generally recommended to eat chicken left out overnight. 

However, if the chicken is refrigerated within two hours of cooking and has not been sitting at a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be safe to consume. 

If you are unsure about the safety of the chicken, throw it out to be on the safe side. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution regarding food.


Shari Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *