Can You Eat Cold Chicken?

Every meat has a specific temperature it must be cooked to until it is safe for consumption. This temperature is lower for some and higher for others. Nonetheless, this specific number sets the standards for cooking in personal, commercial, and government foodservice settings.

Yes, you can at cold chicken as long as it has previously been cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees.

Chicken is a type of poultry that is extremely susceptible to bacteria growth. Everyone has their methods for cooking chicken, regarding preparation, washing, and cooking techniques. Yet, one thing remains the same for everyone, and that is the temperature at which chicken must be cooked.

This isn’t to say that all cold chicken is acceptable to eat. If the chicken was not cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit previously or it has been stored for too long, you probably shouldn’t eat that specific type of cold chicken.

What Types of Cold Chicken Are Safe to Eat?

When cooked properly, cold chicken can make a delicious addition to any meal. A common way that cold chicken is eaten is in other dishes, such as:

  • Wraps and Salads
  • Deli Chicken
  • Dips Containing Chicken
  • Chicken Salad for Sandwiches

Like any other lunch meat, cold deli chicken does have a specific time frame for storage that should be followed. The options are limitless for cold chicken dishes, but the important thing is to make sure it was cooked properly first.

Should I Be Concerned If My Chicken Is Cold at a Restaurant?

Although cold chicken served at a restaurant is a minor annoyance, it is not always a cause for concern. Knowing the difference between which dishes are acceptable with cold chicken and which ones aren’t can prevent you from becoming ill, though.

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If the chicken in your dish is pre-cooked, such as chicken nuggets or a chicken patty, you can likely ask the waitress to re-warm your dish. These types of chicken typically arrive at the restaurant frozen and pre-cooked.

However, if your fresh chicken dish has a pink hue, it is best if you ask them to make another dish altogether. Raw chicken should always be cooked to the required temperature to avoid food-borne illness.

Every year, approximately one million people get sick with poultry food poisoning, and symptoms often occur within 24-48 hours after consumption.

Can You Eat Cold Chicken That Has Been Left Out?

If chicken has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours it should be thrown out. Perishable food, such as chicken, has a short period between the time it is cooked and the time it must be refrigerated.