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My girlfriend accidentally didn't close the fridge properly and left it open 2 inches all night (more than 8 hours). I had a lot of raw chicken breast and raw salmon in there. Is it still edible? When I touched the meat, it was slightly colder than room temperature (21 C).

The back part of the meat was still a bit cold though because it was closer to the back of the fridge.

Is it edible?

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When did you last clean the cooling coils on your fridge? I've had mine open a crack all night and things got nowhere near that warm. Dirty coils make a fridge inefficient and subject to thermal shutdowns. –  Wayfaring Stranger Apr 25 at 14:02
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Also beware that if the fridge has a freezer compartment, that may have warmed up, too. –  derobert Apr 25 at 15:58

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If the food had reached a temperature of 21 C for an unknown amount of time, you should definitely discard it.

See: How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?


As a more general rule, there really is no way to provide a definitive answer; it depends on your specific refrigerator, the cooling power it has, how much air was able to move through the gap, and how much mass was inside the refrigerator to provide a thermal buffer

If you had a refrigerator thermometer and looked at what temperature the interior rose to, if it was below 40 F you are good.

If you don't have a thermometer, you don't know exactly what happened inside.

You must assess how much tolerance for risk you have.

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Given that the meat was 21C (70F) or so, there's pretty much no way it's safe. –  Jefromi Apr 25 at 6:45
    
@Jefromi Ah, I missed that; that is what I get for late night answering! –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 25 at 11:21

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discard

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