A little confusion on my part: I have a fully cooked whole rotisserie chicken which I put in the fridge. I read or google that when reheating to serve I should make sure it reaches 165 degrees.

Since the chicken is already cooked why do I need to reach 165 degrees? I could just as well eat it cold, no?

It says the same thing on the directions on the package it came in: 165 degrees. What am I missing here?

1 Answer 1


This is actually the recommendation of a lot of mass produced items.

They might have been contaminated after being made, and the producer wants to ensure that you kill anything that might have been introduced.

A cynic would also point out that this shifts liability to the consumer, as if you get sick from it, they can insist that you didn’t follow their reheating instructions.

  • @Joe...thank you Joe. That makes sense. Sometimes I ask stupid things without realizing it. Thank you ! Well at least I had enough sense to do what they said and heat it to 165 degrees. Take care
    – Sedumjoy
    Oct 26, 2021 at 22:59
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    @Sedumjoy you weren't being stupid, people make cold chicken dishes with cold rotisserie all the time without issue (or heck, just eat it right out of the fridge by itself). Or eat it when they get home without reheating it to exactly 165 again. Is it perfectly safe? No, but neither are lots of things that are commonly done that almost never actually end up being an issue, like eating a < medium cooked steak (or medium cooked pork) or being a little lazy in washing lettuce. Or eating out at a restaurant or getting carryout, for that matter.
    – eps
    Oct 27, 2021 at 16:52
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    @eps. thank you. you are right ...lots of things we take for granted.
    – Sedumjoy
    Oct 27, 2021 at 17:55
  • @eps our bodies do have a certain tolerance for the various microbes often found in food. Just a reasonable amount of diligence is sufficient in most cases. I even have at times eaten undercooked pork and not fallen sick.
    – Neil Meyer
    Nov 7, 2021 at 17:13

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