This is a question that I get asked a lot, and it’s one that I’m always happy to answer. The simple answer is: it depends. There are a lot of factors that can affect how long cooked stew can be left out, so it’s important to consider all of them before making a decision. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Cooked stew can be left out at room temperature for up to two hours. After that, it should be refrigerated.
If you’re not sure whether the stew has been out for too long, err on the side of caution and throw it out. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food poisoning.
The dangers of leaving cooked stew out
You’ve slaved over a hot stove to make a delicious batch of stew, but now you have to leave it out because you’re running late for your potluck. Is it safe to leave it out?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) advises against leaving any food out at room temperature for more than two hours-and that’s being generous. That limit drops to just one hour if the ambient temperature is above 90Â°F.
Leaving food like stew out for too long gives bacteria the opportunity to grow and thrive. And the longer it sits, the more time bacteria have to multiply. Once bacteria reaches unsafe levels, your stew can make you sick.
If you must leave your stew out for longer than two hours, FSIS recommends keeping it hot by placing it on a warm setting on your slow cooker or stovetop. If you plan on serving it later, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it as soon as possible.
The maximum amount of time you can leave stew out
Cooked stew can be left out at room temperature for up to two hours, or in the fridge for up to four days. If you want to keep it for longer, stew can be frozen for up to three months.
How to tell if stew is still safe to eat
Cooked stew that has been kept at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above is only safe to eat for a maximum of four hours. After that, the food begins to develop bacteria that can cause food poisoning. If you’re not sure whether the stew has been kept at a safe temperature, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
How to safely store cooked stew
Cooked stew can be left out at room temperature for up to four hours, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. After four hours, the stew should be refrigerated or frozen. When reheating the stew, make sure it is heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the minimum safe internal temperature for meat, according to the USDA.
Tips for avoiding food poisoning
Cooked stew can be left out for a maximum of four hours. After this time, it should be thrown out as it will no longer be safe to eat. There are a few things you can do to ensure your stew stays fresh and safe to eat:
-Keep it in a cool, dry place. Room temperature is ideal, but if it’s a hot day, you may need to put it in the fridge.
-if possible, Keep it covered. This will help to Keep bacteria and other contaminants out.
-if you’re not going to eat the stew within four hours, put it in the fridge or freezer.
FOOD POISONING PREVENTION TIPS
There are some basic things you can do to prevent food poisoning:
-Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food, and Wash them often during food preparation.
-Wash all surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw meat before using them for anything else.
-Keep raw meat and cooked meat separate to avoid cross contamination.
-Cook meat thoroughly, using a food thermometer to ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature.
Cooked stew can be left out for four hours without being refrigerated. However, if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it should only be left out for two hours. If you are unsure whether the stew has been sitting out for too long, it is best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.