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

Fennel-Crusted Rib Roastenlarge
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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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
Apr, 2011
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  1. Enter at least one ingredient