In this article, we answer the following question: What happens if you don’t put cooked chicken in the fridge? We will tell you an alternative method of storing chicken outside the refrigerator and also tell you why the fridge is the best option.
What happens if you don’t put cooked chicken in the fridge?
If you don’t put cooked chicken in the fridge and keep it at room temperature, possible bacteria on the surface of the meat begin to multiply. They begin to secrete toxic chemicals that are not destroyed by subsequent thermal preparation through their normal metabolism.
If you get distracted and leave leftovers out after dinner or a house party, be careful to refrigerate them after about two hours, when the likelihood of illness begins to rise rapidly. But if the room temperature is higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius, the food should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than an hour.
The greatest danger is found in minced meat. It is in greater contact with the air than the raw one. The most dangerous bacteria are thermally stable and the simple application of a thermal process is not always enough, especially if they have multiplied excessively.
Therefore, it is possible to get a toxic infection. For these reasons, observe the refrigeration chain. On the other hand, the cooking temperature should not exceed 150 degrees Celsius.
In most restaurants, for taste, the slices of meat are fried in oil, then passed through the oven at over 200 degrees Celsius. This changes the biological structure of the meat and then we eat it in vain.
It is therefore an impossible ballast. All ballast becomes a slice of frozen meat, thawed and frozen again. The repeated freezing process destroys its biological structure.
How to store chicken outside the fridge?
Some products need to follow strict rules to store without a refrigerator. This is the case for cooked animal products: meats, cold cuts, fish, seafood, but also dishes of vegetables, legumes, starches.
These products must undergo heat treatment to be preserved or modification of their composition and their environment. These are foods that are therefore preserved thanks to appreciation or dehydration.
Some methods of storing chicken outside the refrigerator are canning and dehydrating. Their aim is to avoid the intrusion, the formation, and the development of micro-organisms, by acting on one of the factors which are favorable to them: temperature, water, and/or air.
Canning consists of sterilizing foods placed in hermetically sealed containers, away from air and external contaminants, by subjecting them to a source of heat sufficient to destroy germs that could affect the safety of the food. We thus obtain “preserves”. All plant and animal products can be stored for an entire year: activities or preparations based on fruits or vegetables or recipes based on meat, fish, legumes, starches.
Dehydration involves removing water from food by subjecting it to a moderate heat source. As water is a condition for the deterioration of food safety, by dehydrating food, it then has a composition which allows it to be stored at room temperature, without danger, for several months. Fruits, vegetables, aromatic herbs, meat, and fish lend themselves well. These foods can then be eaten this way or be rehydrated in water before being consumed.
Why should I put the cooked chicken in the fridge?
In the US, most people are concerned that microorganisms and bacteria will easily infiltrate and contaminate the food that is not chilled in the refrigerator. On the other hand, in Europe, people are more concerned about the effect hot food has in the fridge: a fridge consumes more energy if hot food is stored, which is why most Europeans put food in the fridge once that it has cooled properly.
It is clear that people are right on both points of view and, in reality, these approaches are not totally incompatible. Certainly, food spoils more quickly if it is stored for a long period in a warm environment, without cooling.
This is precisely why refrigerators were invented: to extend shelf life by rapidly chilling food and storing it at a low temperature. It is also clear that any refrigerator has to work and consume much more to preserve the “cold level” inside if someone places a bowl of hot soup in it. And of course, the hotter the food and the larger the quantity, the longer a refrigerator needs to return to its original temperature.
The chicken needs cold for its correct conservation. The room temperature that is reached in many kitchens in summer is the perfect breeding ground for the reproduction of bacteria.
Avoid leaving meat out both raw and once cooked if it is not going to be consumed immediately.
The bottom line
In this article, we answered the following question: What happens if you don’t put cooked chicken in the fridge? We told you an alternative method of storing chicken outside the refrigerator and also explained why the fridge is the best option.
Make sure you do not keep cooked chicken in the fridge for more than 3 days. Following the tips above can help you figure out if the chicken can still be eaten or not.
If you have doubts about food, it is better to give it up than to risk health problems. And if you still eat spoiled food, and the symptoms persist, go to the doctor urgently.
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FDA.gov – Are You Storing Food Safely?
Medlineplus.gov – Food Safety
Goodsafety.gov – Be Food Safe: Protect Yourself from Food Poisoning