I left my frozen whole chicken (about 3-4 lbs) in cold water overnight by accident. I am going to boil it for soup. Is it still ok?
closed as too localized by Aaronut Feb 16 '13 at 16:26
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The answer to this is the same as the answer to every food safety question involving meat and other highly perishable foods: how long as it in the danger zone (40 - 140 F, approximately 4 - 60 C)? If it was in the unsafe range for more than 2-4 hours, it is a risk. The higher the temperature within the zone, generally the riskier it is.
You must assess how large a risk you consider that to be. I certainly would not have anyone at risk (children, elderly, compromised immune systems) eat the chicken. I would not eat it myself, unless the water was 40 F or lower--that is quite cold--but if that is the case, then it was essentially refrigerated under water, which would be fine.
If you were operating a restaurant, you would certainly be required to discard the food if it was left in cool room temperature water overnight.
http://curiouscook.typepad.com/site/new-york-times/ this will answer your whole question. At the end of the day its entirely up to you but have a read.