Question: How long can you let cooked chicken sit out before it becomes unsafe to eat? I cooked some chicken breasts for dinner and accidentally left them out overnight. Are they still safe?
Answer: Unfortunately, your chicken breasts are no longer safe to eat.
You can safely leave cooked chicken out at room temperature for two hours — or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — says the United States Department of Agriculture.
Cooked chicken that has been sitting out for longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour above 90° F) should be discarded. The reason is that bacteria grow rapidly when cooked chicken is kept at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F. To prevent foodborne illness, try to refrigerate the cooked chicken as soon as you can.
You can safely keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days; it will also keep well in the freezer for at least 4 months.