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  • FIRST POST
    • soupladel
    • By soupladel 6th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
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    soupladel
    How long for chilled meals out of the fridge?
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
    How long for chilled meals out of the fridge? 6th Jul 17 at 3:57 PM
    Just had a bit of an argument with my other half because she has been shopping and amongst the items were some chilled meals that have been out of the fridge now for probably approaching the hour mark.

    My opinion is they are potentially unsafe now and she will no doubt argue i am talking nonsense and they are fine.

    An thoughts and can anyone point me to anything that is approaching an official guideline on how long is safe for chilled meals to stay un-refriderated?
Page 1
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 6th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • 2,329 Posts
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    melanzana
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    I'd say an hour is fine. Just think of all the food that is bought, transported in a trolley around the supermarket, placed in the boot of a car (hot sometimes!), unloaded, placed in kitchen and then put away eventually.

    I think chilled food would have to be out for a few hours and actually get warm to be dodgy.

    We worry far too much.
    • gonebust
    • By gonebust 6th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • 169 Posts
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    gonebust
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:01 PM
    Personally I'd say they are perfectly fine

    There was a time when I couldn't drive and had to travel by bus or walk, I'd often have shopping in a bag for an hour before getting home. I'm still here to tell the tale
    • dlusman
    • By dlusman 6th Jul 17, 4:02 PM
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    dlusman
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:02 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:02 PM
    this page suggests 3 -> 4 hours
    http://www.chilledfood.org/handling-of-chilled-foods-consumer-advice/

    ( but it will obviously be shorter if the temperature is really high )
    • soupladel
    • By soupladel 6th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
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    soupladel
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:08 PM
    Cool, i realise that for an adult this timescale is unlikely to cause a problem but one of the chilled meals is for my 3 year old daughter (she is going through a phase where she will generally only eat pasta) so thats why i asked.

    Thanks for your help everyone.
    • gonebust
    • By gonebust 6th Jul 17, 4:19 PM
    • 169 Posts
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    gonebust
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:19 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 4:19 PM
    As long as your child is fit and healthy and has all her innoculations in place, you needn't worry. Kids are going to put worse in their tummies at that age

    A bag of dried pasta and home made sauces take just minutes to make. Will normally contain less salt and sugar then a ready meal
    • Callie22
    • By Callie22 6th Jul 17, 5:13 PM
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    Callie22
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 17, 5:13 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 17, 5:13 PM
    In catering, I was always taught that the general rule is that something can be out, unchilled, for three hours before it's considered no longer fit to eat. An hour is fine, I'd imagine that most people's shopping is unrefrigerated for about that long when you take into account the time taken to shop, pay, pack it in the car and get it home. If you're worried about things in this weather then invest in a cool bag, they're handy things to take to the shops.
    • redfox
    • By redfox 6th Jul 17, 6:53 PM
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    redfox
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 17, 6:53 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 17, 6:53 PM
    we move threads if we think they’ll get more help elsewhere (please read the forum rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board. If you have any questions about this policy please email forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Quick Grabbit, Food Shopping & Groceries, Shop but don't drop, Loans and Cutting Tax boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 6th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #9
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:24 PM
    It will be fine to eat -- even by strict commercial food safety guidelines -- for 2-3 hours outside the fridge.

    However the bacteria load will have increased, and that won't be undone by putting it in the fridge now. Refrigerating will slow future bacterial growth but not stop it, and the safe shelf life may be shortened.

    Personally I'd freeze it as quickly as possible, which will in effect preserve it in its current state, rather than re-refrigerating it.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • maman
    • By maman 6th Jul 17, 11:14 PM
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    maman
    I think you're over thinking this.
    I'd imagine it will vary depending on the food so, for example, pasta with tomato sauce might be safer than say chicken. Posters have given you commercial standards of much more stringent but all more than the hour you were worrying about.
    As this is a money saving site we would naturally question why you are buying chilled pasta meals which are amongst the simplest to make from scratch.
    • sooty&sweep
    • By sooty&sweep 7th Jul 17, 1:56 PM
    • 1,151 Posts
    • 1,360 Thanks
    sooty&sweep
    A lot depends on where it was when it was out of the fridge. It also depends what it is. I'm more careful with things like prawns. Tub of margarine or cheese not so much of a problem.

    If it's sat somewhere where it'll get warm quickly eg in full sun then could be a problem.

    Usual British climate away from any heat source it'll be fine.

    Jen
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