If you’re at least something like us, sliced turkey is your number one thing while making sandwiches. Yes, mayo or cheese are essential as well, but simply no good sandwich was ever made without sliced turkey, period.
And since sliced turkey is so often used to make sandwiches, it is not uncommon for it to spend some time outside the fridge. But doesn’t that make it turn bad? Let’s find out!
So how long can sliced turkey sit out? According to the USDA, sliced turkey can never sit out for more than two hours before being dangerous to eat. The reason for that is the very high activity of bacteria at room temperature.
This was just to put it briefly, though, and we need to dive a bit deeper into this topic to understand it indeed.
So without any further delay, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Does sliced turkey need to be refrigerated?
Since the USDA says no perishable food, including sliced turkey, should be eaten after more than two hours without refrigeration, sliced turkey needs to be refrigerated if you’re not planning on eating it all immediately.
When stored in the fridge, sliced turkey can last at least three days, though, and that’s true even after it is already opened.
How long can sliced turkey sit out of the fridge?
According to the USDA, sliced turkey can’t sit out the fridge for more than two hours before it is dangerous to eat it. The reason for that is bacteria grow exceptionally fast at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, which even led the USDA to call this range the “Danger Zone.”
Can sliced turkey be left out overnight?
As we have explained above, it is dangerous to eat sliced turkey that sat out for more than hours. Hence, sliced turkey cannot be left out overnight because that means much, much more.
And due to the extremely high activity bacteria have at room temperature, eating it after that long is nearly assured to make you sick; more about this in a second, though.
How can you tell if a sliced turkey is bad?
Before covering what eating bad sliced turkey does to you, let’s firstly check how to prevent that from happening – you can tell if a sliced turkey is bad by simply smelling and looking at it.
If you notice any weird stains on it or any disgusting smell coming out of it, it’s time to part your ways with the sliced turkey; but otherwise, it’s good to go.
Related: How Long Can Turkey Sit Out?
How do you keep the sliced turkey fresh?
If you want to make your sliced turkey last in the best shape possible, just follow these two basic steps – to keep the sliced turkey fresh, firstly carefully seal it into some airtight container, and then just put it into the fridge.
What happens if you eat bad sliced turkey?
When you eat some food past its best days, chances are you’re going to get sick, and this applies even to sliced turkey. So if you eat bad sliced turkey, be prepared for vomiting, stomach ache, or diarrhea.
As the United States Department of Agriculture says, it is not safe to eat any perishable food left out for more than two hours, and sliced turkey is not an exception. Leaving it out of the fridge for a longer period of time may very likely end up with it being spoiled then.
And that’s because bacteria grow very, very fast at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, making perishable food like sliced turkey spoil even in just a short while.
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