How Long Can Food Sit At 50 Degrees

When shopping in your local grocery store you might wonder how long certain items will last before they spoil. This is especially important when you plan to store foods at room temperatures. Type of food, length of time, and temperature all have an effect on how long food can sit at 50 degrees before it goes bad.

Find Out How Long Food Can Sit At 50 Degrees.

The answer to how long food can sit at 50 degrees is a matter of personal preference. If you are the type of person who likes to use leftovers the next day, then it may be fine for you to leave the food out for a couple hours. However, if you prefer your food to be fresh and warm, then you should try to keep it out no longer than 30 minutes.

If you are serving guests or have friends over, then it might be best to put the food in the microwave before they arrive so that it is ready when they get there. This way, you will not have to worry about how long your food has been sitting at 50 degrees before they arrive and will not have any worries about how long your guests will wait for their food.

  • How long can food sit at 50 degrees?

Food can stay out for up to 2 hours when the temperature is between 40- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s between 140 and 150 degrees, you should cook or refrigerate it within 1 hour.

  • Why does food spoil at 50 and how can you avoid it?

Bacteria grow at a rate of about 20 times faster than humans do, so it’s important to keep your food at the right temperature. If you leave your food out for too long, bacteria will start to multiply rapidly and produce toxins that can make you sick.

How Long Can Food Sit Out?

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set specific guidelines for how long you can leave a hot meal sitting out before it becomes unsafe to eat.

You can find these guidelines on the USDA’s website, which state that meat cannot be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, while poultry must not be left out for more than 1 hour. For example, if you cook a chicken breast or steak and it takes 20 minutes to cool down to room temperature, then you have another 20 minutes before it must be put back in the refrigerator.

If you ever have doubts about whether something is still safe to eat, throw it away!

What Temperature Is the Danger Zone For Food?

Food temperature is an important factor in food safety. It can be a little confusing, however, because the term “danger zone” is often used interchangeably with “temperature danger zone.”

While the danger zone refers to specific temperatures that increase the risk of foodborne illness, it does not refer to time. The temperature danger zone refers to the range of temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit that can support growth of harmful bacteria.

  • These are the times at which you should throw out food that has hit certain temperatures:
  • 40 degrees Fahrenheit: This is the temperature at which bacteria begins to grow rapidly. Most food must be kept at this temperature or below to prevent bacterial growth.
  • 140 degrees Fahrenheit: At this temperature, bacteria growth stops completely, and all spores are killed.

What Foods Should Not Be Left at Room Temperature?

  • Perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs can be left out for 2 hours in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees.
  • Foods that contain mayonnaise or milk products can be left out for 1 hour.
  • Butter, margarine and cheese are good for up to 2 hours.
  • Leftover cooked rice, pasta or other grains can be left out for up to 4 hours.
  • Bread and baked goods are safe for 1 hour; cakes and cookies can last up to 2 hours.

Cooked Rice, Dry Pastaand Cooked Potatoes

Rice, pasta, and potatoes are all good choices for storing at room temperature. They’re dry, so they’ll stay fresh for longer than fresh fruits or vegetables.

If you want to keep your rice, pasta, or potatoes from going stale, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. If you’re using a plastic container, make sure it has an airtight seal so that pests can’t get into your food.

Cooked Rice: Airtight containers make it easy to store cooked rice for up to three days at room temperature. Once it’s been refrigerated, you should use it within four days.

Dry Pasta: Store dry pasta in an airtight container on your pantry shelf for three months — this way it won’t get stale after being opened. After opening the package of noodles, transfer any unused portions into a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to cook again (within two days).

Cooked Potatoes: Cooked potatoes will last in an airtight container on your pantry shelf for up to one week; after that they may start turning brown and sprouting eyes (that’s a technical term).


50 degrees is perhaps the worst temperature to store food, because it’s a sweet spot for bacteria to grow. From 50-60 degrees you can store meat for about 1-4 days and produce for about 5 days. After that, the quality of food starts to degrade, and spoilage becomes a concern.

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