How long can I leave cooked meat out at room temperature?

The absolute longest you should leave cooked meat out is two hours—and keep this in mind if you are serving a meal buffet style! If your room is warm (as in, a kitchen with the oven on for a long time, or crowded with people), err on the side of leaving food out for less time.

For more information on food safety and storage, see Love Your Leftovers.

Recipe: Fennel-Crusted Rib Roast

Marge Perry

April 2011