Are you wondering how long a chipotle can be left out of the fridge and be safe for consumption? Then this guide is for you.
Chipotle is a smoked and dried pepper used for seasoning all food fresh. Therefore, just like any food, it is wise to store chipotle in a fridge to avoid contamination and ensure it is safe.
According to the USDA guidelines, chipotle can sit out of the fridge for not more than 2 hours.
Leaving it out at room temperature ranging between 40°F and 140°F for more than 2 hours increases the likelihood of it being contaminated with bacteria making chipotle unsafe to eat.
In this article, I will enlighten you on how long you can leave chipotle out of the fridge, why it is safe to observe the rule, and some tips to follow while refrigerating it.
How long can you leave chipotle out?
Whether you are bringing chipotle home from the grocery store or storing leftovers, it is recommendable to refrigerate it as soon as possible.
You should never leave chipotle out of the fridge for more than 2 hours to avoid food poisoning.
However, if your room temperature is above 90°F, you should store it within one hour.
According to the USDA guidelines, any cooked food sitting in temperatures between 40°and 90° is the in-danger zone.
Therefore, chipotle that has been left to sit out of the fridge for more than two hours is not safe for consumption and should be thrown away.
Why you should follow the two hours rule
Many people suffer from foodborne illnesses caused by improper food handling and storage. Here are some of the reasons you should store chipotle in the refrigerator within two hours.
To prevent contamination
When chipotle is left to sit out of the fridge for more than two hours, it gets contaminated by bacteria.
At room temperature, bacteria proliferate hence making it unfit for consumption. When refrigerated at the right time, it prevents bacterial growth since it lacks the required temperature to thrive.
It prolongs its usage time
Refrigerating chipotle enables you to keep it for an extended period. If you continuously refrigerate canned chipotle, you can use it for one to two months, maximizing its shelf life.
The leftover chipotle bowl can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. Furthermore, you can control the temperature in a fridge depending on your needs and store it for longer.
It prevents food poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by poor food handling and storage. When you leave your Chipotle out of the fridge for more than two hours, it is most likely to get contaminated by bacteria which causes illnesses—intake of such food results in food poisoning, which can be fatal.
Therefore, if you leave chipotle out for long, you should not eat it but throw it away. Some of the signs of food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach ache.
Tips on how to store chipotle on the fridge to prevent contamination
Food poisoning is a common problem affecting many people. It is caused by improper food preparation, handling, and storage. Here are some tips to help you properly store your chipotle.
Ensure your fridge temperature is low
Temperature aid in the rapid growth of bacteria which makes food go bad.
Therefore, always ensure your fridge is cold enough to prevent the growth of bacteria. Always maintain a temperature range between 0 to 5° F.
Store in tightly closed containers
To keep your chipotle fresh in the fridge, you should keep it in airtight containers. Usually, chipotle comes in clear containers with lids. Therefore, make sure you tightly close the lid when refrigerating any leftovers.
Ensure the chipotle is cool before storing
Never store any hot food in the fridge. Hot chipotle in the refrigerator can promote the growth of bacteria, making it go wrong. Therefore, before storing chipotle leftover in the fridge, ensure it cools down.
Refrigerate as quick as possible
Always refrigerate within the shortest time possible. Never leave chipotle at room temperature for more than two hours.
Also, it’s good to note that you should discard all stored leftover chipotle after five days.
Always keep the refrigerator door closed.
Ensure you keep the refrigerator door closed to prevent outside air from entering. Usually, the outside air is hotter, and when it enters the fridge, it can interfere with its efficiency, making chipotle go bad.
Proper storage of food is paramount to preventing food contamination and the fridge help in that.
If you have any chipotle leftovers or have just bought some from the store, you should store them in the fridge to keep them fresh.
However, it would be best if you did not let your chipotle sit out of the refrigerator for long.
According to USDA guidelines, you should not leave out food for more than two hours.
Chipotle, left at room temperature for more than two hours, is said to be in a danger zone.
That is because room temperature facilitates bacterial growth, which causes food poisoning.