How Long Can Food Stay Out At Room Temperature?

Start the new year off on the right foot, not crawling between your bed and toilet with some food safety tips from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The safe amount of time that leftovers can remain at room temperature is just two hours. After that, the meal can become overrun with bacteria, leading to food poisoning.

Hot foods should be kept at 140-degrees Fahrenheit while cold dishes must stay below 40.

Something to keep in mind for those upcoming summer BBQs: the time halves to just one hour in the sun. Even then, The Daily Meal recommends not serving deviled eggs, macaroni salad, and fatty steaks, among other items, outdoors.


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