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Jan 22, 2013 12:45 PM

Chicken stock - safety

Hi, I made chicken stock last night but it was too hot to go in the fridge. It has been out all day!
1 - is it safe to use although not refridgerated?
2 - can I re boil and the fridge/freeze
3 - should I just throw it away?
Any feedback welcome.

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  1. Any one trained in food safety will tell you to toss it... It's been left out in the temperature danger zone too long. That said, in my own personal kitchen, things have been left out for longer, refridgerated, and eaten with out any problems. I suppose it's really how comfortable you are with eating it. Side note: a healthy adult may have no problems, but young children and the elderly are far more susceptable to food borne illness... I wouldn't feed it to Grandma or Junior :)

    1. My advice would be to throw it away.

      But read this and decide for yourself:

      1. Boil it again and then fridge.

        1. All night and all day--in my house, that would go. If I leave out all night, covered, I would fridge it in the morning and not worry, but 24 hours is too long for me.

          1. As others have said & will say, it's going to be your choice, your decision.

            That said - I do & have done exactly what you did for DECADES. I leave my stock out overnight to cool down & refrigerate &/or freeze the next day. The product is always thoroughly cooked/boiled in whatever recipe I end up using it in, & there's never been even the remotest illness problem.

            But again - that's what I do & is MY choice. You have to make your own decision re: the safety risk.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bacardi1

              FYI re-heating might kill bacteria, but it won't necessarily destroy toxins that they've produced.

              1. re: Bacardi1

                Bacardi1, I have done the same as you without any problems. My stock usually is left to cool completely at room temperature on average for about 6 - 8 hours before I refrigerate it.

                I read a tip somewhere that said to not skim the fat/oil from the stock. This layer of grease slows down the food from going bad in the refrigerator, maybe by preventing air and microbes from entering.

                I also remove bones from food before storing in the refrigerator if I intend to store it for longer than a couple of days. They seem to make food spoil or rancid more quickly for whatever reasons.

                In general, I try to not store food in plastic containers, which can harbor bacteria/mold, in the refrigerator for longer than a few days. I prefer glass or ceramic vessels for food storage in the refrigerator, especially for foods containing a lot of moisture (e.g. vegetables).