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Left chicken noodle soup out for 3 hours

I finished making the soup (homemade) at 9:30 pm. I divided it up into a few portions. I checked the individual portions at 11:30 pm and they were still warm. I then checked at 12:30 am and they were really cold. I quickly put the portions into the freezer, but now I'm worried that I was too late from what I have read online. Please help?

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  1. It's not too late; I've had this happen before and I lived to type this post.

    1. if they were ice cold, they're safe.

      1 Reply
      1. I do this all the time - putting warm stuff in our fridge throws the temperature balance off and freezes the rest of the ingredients. Unless you were particularly unsanitary when transferring the soup, it will be fine.

        1. I'm crazy with stuff like this, so I won't even answer that part of the question.

          In the future, put the soup in a very very shallow dish to cool. The more surface area exposed to air (and the less "dense" the soup), the quicker it will cool. If I pour soup into pie dishes, it's cool enough to transfer to the fridge within 30 minutes. Then, once it's totally cold, I'll transfer to the freezer.

          I also appreciate the tip I see all over food magazines to freeze soup in Ziploc bags--just fill, then lay them flat to freeze. That way you can stack them once frozen, or line them up like books on a shelf.

          1. The only thing I'd worry about is the noodles getting mushy. Did you already put them in?

            3 Replies
            1. re: kitchengardengal

              I used egg noodles, so maybe they are less likely to get mushy? I'm a beginner at cooking so as long as they are edible I don't care :)

              1. re: bdubs23

                Even egg noodles can soak up all your broth and leave you with chicken casserole!

                Maybe since you froze it quick, you may get lucky. I wouldn't plan on serving the thawed soup to guests, though.

                After a few disheartening episodes with over - soaked noodles, I began to cook the noodles separately and just put some in each soup bowl as I served them up.

                1. re: kitchengardengal

                  This is what I prefer to do as well. I leave the noodles out and make them whenever I serve the soup.

            2. I won't even tell you how long I left chicken stock out before refrigerating on Sunday.

              I would be worried about soggy noodles, however.

              2 Replies
              1. re: tcamp

                I need room in my fridge and I'm legitimately pondering removing some condiments and stock to sit out for a few days. Probably a bad idea, but what's a girl to do - the turkey needs room.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  You know, in this weather, putting it out on the deck/porch/whatever you've got would be just fine, I suspect. That is a good idea - we've got about 5 kinds of pickles sitting there taking up potential turkey space.

              2. Drink up, I do this all the time, maybe I shouldn't but I'm still here.

                1. Maybe this is an american thing. I grew up eating soup left out in the room temperatuer for days and I don't remember getting sick. My mom never bothered to put stuff in the fridge. Of course, she reheated the soup everyday.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Monica

                    It sometimes confuses me too but I guess it's always safety first. In fact, today I went to buy a slice of sweet potato pie for a friend who loves it from a local bakery. I was confused as it wasn't with the other pies and then found it in the refrigerator. At the register, I inquired as to why it was in the fridge, my grandmother makes them all the time and never have I seen them in the fridge unless it's been at least 4 days or so, but I think safety often trumps all, better safe than sorry.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      haha, I usually leave out the soup or stew on counter too and the next morning, I'd see it inside the fridge. My husband grew up here and thinks all food should be inside the fridge all the time. it's a funny thing. I often see him trying hard to make space in the fridge to put a large pot of food inside.

                  2. You have nothing to worry about unless the jars were dirty. Just bring the soup up to a boil and then eat it. 3 hours is nothing.

                    1. There is no danger whatsoever but IME the mindset of people who have these concerns is such that it's not worth it for them to use the food in question.

                        1. the keys for cooling are keeping foods out of the danger zone. You have basically 6 hours to do that in 2 stages. the 1st stage is getting things from 135 to 70 in 2 hours and from 70 to 41 in 4 more hours. If you follow that you're good. You should then be able to keep it for about 6-7 days in the fridge or frozen for a good period of time.