How long can chicken stay outside of refrigeration?


Chicken can last up to two hours outside of refrigeration, meaning above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken can last up to four hours inside a refrigerator during a power outage.

The key to determining how long chicken lasts is temperature. As long as chicken is kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe for four hours even in the event of a power outage. However, if the chicken has been outside of the refrigerator for two hours or more, it should be discarded. If the air temperature is at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken spoils within an hour. Spoiled chicken changes color, emits a sour odor and feels slimy.

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