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Jan 8, 2014 12:00 PM

Left my lunch on the counter before work. Safe to eat?

I'm super frustrated. I made a huge pot of chicken chili (with shredded chicken and chicken broth) last night and froze a bunch of leftovers for lunch. One serving was in a tightly-closed tupperware in the fridge overnight.

Anyway, this morning, I packed the one that was in the fridge in a lunch bag and FORGOT TO TAKE IT when I rushed out the door. Ugh! Anyway, I am wondering if it will be safe to eat when I get home tonight. It'll have been out at room temperature (which is not too warm) for 9-10 hours at that point.

Would it be ok to boil, or should I not risk it?

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    1. re: GretchenS

      Normally, I wouldn't either! But then I, you know, started thinking about it haha.

      1. re: Crankyrobot

        It was completely cooked. Ever leave out pasta and sauce? Next time just skip out of work!

      1. This is how I think about it when I am in such a situation... throwing out the food and wasting the money/effort that went into it is worth avoiding the potential hospital bill. I would not eat it!

        1. I'd get rid of this one serving and just be thankful the rest is in the freezer. Even if it's safe to eat, it's probably no longer fresh, so why eat food that isn't delicious?

          1. 2 hour rule for me, maybe a bit longer if I know the history of the food. Reheating might kill some of those nasties too...

            Too many experiences with coworkers bringing in leftovers from parties and events....scary stuff...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Raffles

              Me too. Especially with chicken, I just wouldn't chance it. Chicken is one of the foods I just won't mess around with.

              ETA: If I was OP, why not just pull one of the frozen ones and eat that? Why risk a horrid bout of food poisoning when there are perfectly good batches on hand?