Is it safe to leave food outside if it's cold?
A friend has some raw meat and chicken for me from a delivery but doesn't have room in the fridge. They said they will leave it in the shed in the garden as it's a cold day. It's only about 1-2°C/33-35°F. Will it be safe? Logic tells me it will as it's the same if not colder than a refrigerator. I'm worried it might be slightly warmer in the shed though or if the sun is shining.
It's going to get colder as the day goes on and I'm either getting it tonight or in the morning. Will it be ok?
- LLv 51 month ago
It may get really cold, outside, but there's also animals roaming around looking for stuff to eat. Suggest, to your friend, to invest in a freezer, clean their fridge out or just do not buy anything more until he or she has room for it.
- 2 months ago
We can keep food for 1hr if outdoor temperatures are above 90 °F. which prevents the growth of bacteria.
- yLv 72 months ago
If those are accurate temps, it will be fine. Especially if it is just for a few hours and such. It will only attract critters if there are critters around and such to attract.
- Christin KLv 72 months ago
Leaving it outside will attract animals--dogs, cats, and mice--and rats. You won't see them because they come at night. At least have a cooler out there for your friend to put the packages in, and make sure the lid is tight. As long as your outside temp is lower than your freezer or fridge, it's safe from rotting or food poisoning bacteria. But animals is a different story.
- What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
- oil field trashLv 72 months ago
At those temperatures not only will it be safe but if you cook it properly any bacteria will be killed in the process.
- Karen LLv 72 months ago
Refrigerators are usually at about 40F/4.5C, or a bit less. I don't know what your climate is like but where I am, if it's 1-2C now then it isn't likely to get to more than 5C in the daytime even in the sun. If you really think it will get much warmer than that in the shed before you pick the stuff up, then get your friend to wrap the stuff in a couple of towels or a blanket. If it's cold when that is done, the towel or blanket will keep it cool.
But I wouldn't leave meat outdoors unless this is a very secure shed. Animals could get into it. Has your friend got a cooler or some kind of box that will keep the smell of meat in so animals don't find it?
- 18 gibbs 20Lv 72 months ago
I would do it with no worries
- TommymcLv 72 months ago
We have a small fridge and do this routinely when we have guests for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The food doesn't know where it is, as long as the temp is within the same range as a refrigerator...33-40°F. There are several considerations. Nighttime temps can drop below freezing, so there is a freezing risk. Solar heat can warm the shed higher than the outside temp, and of course you have to watch out for critters like squirrels or mice. We often use a cooler because it insulates the food and is critter-proof.
If the shed is cool enough when your friend leaves the meat, and the weather is getting cooler, you should be fine. The real concern is to put it in a container that'll keep vermin out.
- Anonymous2 months ago
Yes. In the days before refrigerators that is what you had to do. So long as food is covered and cannot be contaminated by vermin, and is below 4 deg C it will keep as it would in a fridge.