How Long Can You Leave Chicken Noodle Soup Out

Lets take each of those nasties in turn: According to the Minnesota Department of Health, S. aureus is typically associated with skin infections, but can also cause pneumonia. Johns Hopkins Medicine warns that contracting salmonella can result in a three-day hellscape of diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, and headaches. The symptoms of E. coli are similar to those caused by salmonella, but potentially fatal, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also per the CDC, campylobacter might at first present like regular food poisoning, but can sometimes result in complications like arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome. Among many other awful symptoms, botulism can straight-up cause paralysis, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit is what the USDA calls the “danger zone” of food storage. This is because when even cooked foods reach this temperature zone and stay there for more than two hours, they become a veritable petri dish for the growth of bacteria that can cause various food-borne illnesses with catchy names like Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, and C. botulinum –- and thats far from a complete list.

Good intentions, when not enacted, often lead us astray. Saying things like, “The soup is way too hot right now,” or “I’ll do the dishes after we watch the movie,” is so simple. “I’ll store it in the refrigerator once it cools down, perhaps while I finish the dishes.” — and the following morning, you discover that in addition to a sink full of unwashed dishes, there’s also a soup pot left on the stove, looking bleak and abandoned. Though dirty dishes won’t clean themselves, you might be tempted to check if that batch of sausage and spinach tortellini soup can still be salvaged. Don’t worry, there’s no judgment here! The short answer is, “No! Do you have a death wish?” The long answer is, “Doesn’t heating it back up to boiling kill any nasty bugs and make it safe to eat?” Yes, in theory, but that’s disgusting (and definitely not something you should do).

So, yeah: Toss that soup that sat out overnight. Regarding the question of whether boiling it will eliminate these bugs, that may be true in theory but has a significant disclaimer. The soup needs to be vigorously boiled for ten minutes in order to be completely safe. By doing this, the bacteria that are active will be eliminated, and the botulinum spores will become inactive but not destroyed. Try that with your creamy salmon and scallop chowder. Boiling chicken stock for ten minutes is one thing, but is there any real soup recipe that wouldn’t be rendered inedible by ten minutes at that point? You might as well put it in the blender.

The reason youd have to boil your soup so long is solely to inactivate botulism toxin spores, because one minute of boiling is sufficient to kill off active bacteria. But botulism spores things are nasty – they start germinating below 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and by the time your soup got to body temperature, they were doubling their number every 15 minutes; at room temperature, they double every hour and a half. This is not something you want to mess with.

A big, steaming bowl of soup made with vegetables and meat, poultry, fish, or dried beans can be the main course of your meal. There’s nothing easier than that. You’re ready to eat when you serve some breadsticks or crackers on the side and maybe some fruit for dessert!

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Increase the amount of soup you make and save some for another meal. Most soups—perhaps the exception being seafood soups—tend to taste better the next day! To ensure maximum safety and quality, freeze or consume chilled soup within 3–4 days. Furthermore, do not allow soup to sit at room temperature for longer than TWO hours.

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