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Food Safety Issues/frozen chicken left out for 14 hours


I left frozen chicken thawing in the sink for 14 hours! It was in a vacuum sealed bag from Trader Joe's (prepared Pesto Chicken with sauce.) It smelled fine so i cooked it and ate a small pc to test. I feel fine but am I going to get sick - and is there a prophylactic measure i can take?
Appreciate your taking the time to answer. you always have a solid perspective.

Hi Pat,

I hope that by the time you read this you are perfectly fine and have no residual effects of consuming the improperly handled chicken.

Unfortunately, you can't tell if a food that has been temperature abused is still safe by smell.  The type of bacteria that cause food borne illness are not detectable by sight, smell or taste. Food spoilage organisms, on the other hand, are detectable by sight, smell and taste but these organisms can be hiding dangerous food borne illness organisms that you can't detect.

I'm not aware of any prophylactic measures you can take to prevent potential food borne illness other than to not knowingly consume foods that have been temperature abused.  For maximum safety, you should thaw potentially hazardous foods such as chicken in the refrigerator. If you must do it quickly, you can place the chicken under cold, constantly running water.

Good luck Pat and Happy Holidays.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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