I put a partially frozen (inside) chicken in my convection oven, set it to what I thought was 400ºF (200ºC) and left the room with a timer on. An hour later it was discovered the temperature was only 150-200ºF (65-93ºC). It was in the convection oven an hour! I quickly set the correct temperature and finished cooking it. I just don't know if the hour it spent in the convection oven on the lower temperature did something with bacteria. I cooked it to an internal temperature of 180ºF (80ºC) degrees. Is it safe to eat this chicken?
Is a partially frozen chicken safe if not immediately cooked at the proper temperature?
Welcome to the site. I've edited your question to be a little more clear. I strongly suspect that there's a question here that already answers this, but I can't find a good one right now. We do have good questions about proper defrosting, how long you can leave meat at room temperature, and even cooking frozen meat.– Cascabel ♦Mar 6, 2013 at 18:56
See this question about cooking chicken at a low temperature for a long time and this question.– Chris SteinbachMar 6, 2013 at 19:00
This situation is a bit different because it's a convection oven, so it will heat the surfaces much better than a normal oven, avoiding some of the safety concerns at lower temperatures (similar to sous-vide).– Cascabel ♦Mar 6, 2013 at 19:04
@Jefromi Sure, didn't mean to imply they are duplicates. Actually this answer has better information than the last two links I posted, although once again, not aimed specifically at frozen chicken or convection ovens.– Chris SteinbachMar 6, 2013 at 19:11
How did the chicken get partially thawed? If it spent little time in the fridge and straight to the oven ride you explained, then @ChrisSteinbach is right, and you should be fine. The extra time spent transitioning through the danger zone isn't alarming.– MandoMandoMar 6, 2013 at 22:49
Assuming you thawed the chicken (to the extent that you did) in the refrigerator, and further assuming that it took less than an hour to reach a safe internal temperature, I would say you are fine. An internal temperature of 180ºF (80ºC) is safe by quite a margin.
The USDA recommends that home cooks do not keep food within the "Danger Zone" of 40-140ºF (4-60ºC) for more than 2 hours. This includes preparation and cooking time. If you thawed the bird on the kitchen counter, or if your chicken accompanied you on a long journey from the supermarket in an unfrozen state, you'll have to factor that time in.
As @Jefromi's comment on another answer notes, simply reaching a high enough internal temperature is not a guarantee of safety since some microbes produce toxins that are heat-stable.
No, do not eat food that has slowly passed through the danger zone.
In my food handler classes I learned that any food that quickly moves from HOT --> Cold is safe, and visa versa. However, it is un-safe to eat food that has slowly moved through the temperature zones.
IMO eat at your own risk.
edit for corrections
2The danger zone is from 40F to 140F, and even the initial baking temperature was above this.– Cascabel ♦Mar 6, 2013 at 18:58