Chicken soup is a delightful delicacy that is enjoyable with a cold soft drink. Seeing it go to waste can be very painful and disheartening.
So, when people find themselves in a situation where it is left overnight, they quickly type on Google, “Can I eat chicken soup that is left overnight?” or “What can I do about chicken soup left overnight?”
You will find the answers to these questions and more in this article.
Chicken Soup Left Out Overnight
There are many questions beyond the two highlighted above, and they will all be answered one after the other.
But, before that, let’s make you understand how to identify a spoilt soup.
How To Know If Your Chicken Soup Is Bad?
Contrary to popular belief, it will interest you to know that soup does not go bad because they are left out overnight.
Certain conditions make soup go bad, and one key factor is the number of hours spent outside the refrigerator.
But, the hours will mean nothing if the temperature does not fall within the danger zone of 40 to 140°F.
According to the USDA recommendation, it should be discarded when your soup spends more than 2 hours in the danger zone.
It further states that it should be thrown out when your soup spends more than five days in the refrigerator.
These recommendations show that your food does not have to smell or appear worse before it can harm your system.
Your sense of smell and taste will only detect spoiled food when it has entered a severe case and the bacteria have done much damage to it.
Spoilt food is caused by spoilage bacteria that can transform into pathogenic bacteria, which causes foodborne illness.
Can I Eat Chicken Soup That Is Left Overnight?
The answer is yes, and the reason is that leftover food can still fall under the FDA and USDA guidelines.
The danger zone, as stipulated, starts from 40°F, and you know that the temperature is more relaxed at night, which can be below the minimum benchmark.
But not only does this make a case for a safe overnight meal, but a research expert McGee also corroborates this point.
He stated that soup left overnight to cool when reboiled in the morning for about 10 minutes, is still safe to eat.
His reason was that the room’s temperature could not warm the soup, allowing the food bacteria to transform pathogens.
Also, it will interest you to know that there have not always been refrigerators, and food was left overnight and heated the following morning.
You can say that is long ago, but it certainly did occur. So, many factors should be considered before you decide to eat your leftover chicken soup.
You have to consider the climate, the state of the soup the previous night, and the time interval between the last time you cooked it to the next day.
If you eat the soup the previous night without heating it, you should toss it out the following day. But, if you warm or cook it, you can reheat it in the morning.
What Happens If You Eat Chicken Soup Left Overnight?
It depends on the state of the chicken soup the previous night and the temperature throughout the night.
Eating such a meal will expose you to foodborne diseases, making you sick. So, when it falls within the danger zone, it can pose a health risk to you.
How Can I Make My Chicken Soup Left Overnight Safe To Eat?
In a situation when you go camping, and you want to leave your chicken soup overnight to eat it the following morning.
Then, you need to follow these rules:
- Cook or heat your meal correctly the previous night.
- Please keep it in a cool place or a bowl of water fully covered.
- Boil for at least 10 minutes the following morning.
But, if you have access to a refrigerator, it is best to use it, except if you forgot to use it.
In that case, you must throw the chicken soup away because necessary precautions were not taken—especially when the night was hot, and the food was not cooked the previous night.
How Can You Preserve Chicken Soup Overnight?
There are two ways to preserve your soup overnight, and we will explore just one option.
You can employ the canning method or a refrigerator, so let’s consider the refrigerator.
The refrigerator is one of the most important inventions in the food industry, as It can help store food in small and large quantities.
It makes it a must-have for every household since keeping your food fresh and safe is a priority.
So, when it comes to preserving your chicken soup, this will be your first choice, not only for you but for everyone in the world.
But there are ways to preserve your food inside a refrigerator.
Tips For Preserving Your Chicken Soup In The Refrigerator
Refrigerating chicken soup is easy, but many misconceptions must be corrected. Such as:
- It would be best if you did not preserve your soup in big bowls; instead, make use of smaller containers. So the cooling process will be faster and more effective.
- When using the refrigerator, you do not have to wait for hours before putting your soup into the fridge. You can do that right away; while it is hot, it will not affect your refrigerator, contrary to common belief.
- Do not preserve your soup beyond five days; once it gets to five days, you are advised to reheat, discard or eat it. Because once it exceeds five days, it starts going bad.
These three tips will help you better preserve your soup in the refrigerator. But, if you want to preserve your soup for a very long time, beyond five days.
Then, you can make use of a freezer. Some refrigerators have a little freezing compartment, but if you have a freezer, you can use it.
With a freezer, you can keep your chicken soup fresh and safe for a very long time, as bacteria cannot cause any harm when the soup is frozen.
Also, cool in your refrigerator before putting it inside the freezer.
But, before putting your soup into your freezer, ensure that they are well packaged and labeled.
Labeling the container will help you differentiate them because you can hardly differentiate soup from stew when they are frozen.
Canning as a form of preserving soup is more industrial than personal; that’s why it is not considered in this article.
When it comes to leftover foods, it becomes a health safety issue.
So, there are many guidelines set by the FDA and USDA to help consumers make the right choice when it comes to eating overnight soup.
But the choice is always yours to make, as the facts highlighted in this article can help you make the right one.
The conditions upon which you can consider eating your overnight chicken soup and how you can best preserve your chicken soup overnight have been expounded.
Most of the questions surrounding chicken soup left overnight have been answered directly and made simple for you to understand.