How safe is it eat cooked food, which is served hot, after it’s been sat at room temperature for, say, up to an hour? (Usually uncovered, unless there are any obvious insects flying around.)

Does the type of food make a difference?

What about the ambient temperature?


1 Answer 1


An hour is generally considered fine. Recommendations are to refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking or removing from a safely hot serving dish.

Type of food makes a difference, in that those considered "non-perishable" (commonly stored at room temperature) do not have that limitation, as they are in some way naturally not particularly good for bacteria to grow on/in. Bread would be one example. While it will mold in a matter of days to weeks, it does not require refrigeration to keep for days.

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