How Long Can Raw Meat Sit Out (And Why)?

How Long Can Raw Meat Sit Out (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 hours

There is no point in thawing the meat for more than 2 hours. There are many health problems such as food poisoning that happen if the raw meat would sit out for more than 2 hours. If someone makes the raw meat sit out for more than 2 hours in temperature more than 40 F, then it would be a problem for its quality.

The type and quantity of the meat are not important, it’s clear that if the meat is raw, then it’s not allowed to sit for more than 2 hours. Some bacteria can start growing in the raw meat if they would sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

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How Long Can Raw Meat Sit Out?

Meat Sit OutHow Long Can Raw Meat Sit Out
Maximum time2 hours
Minimum time4 hours

If someone makes the raw meat sit out for more than 2 hours, then consuming it would not be a good choice. The raw meat may contain some bacteria already inside and this may increase if the meat sits out for a long time period. The best idea is to store or fridge the raw meat as the cold temperature is required for it.

If someone leaves the raw meat outside anywhere at room temperature for a long time, then it would start hosting many bacterial growths. These bacteria can harm the body by causing many bacterial infections. It’s not true that freezing the raw meat would kill the bacteria present in it, but it would help in extending the shelf life of the meat.

Cool temperature is the best friend of any food item, as it would not entertain bacterial growth. Everyone should put the meat in the refrigerator as the bacterial growth would not only degrade the quality of the raw meat but would make it go bad.

Storing the raw meat in the fridge would increase the shelf life of the beef or lamb for more than 3 to 5 days. The shelf life of raw meat would increase more if it is frozen in the freezer. The taste of the raw meat may get compromised after storing at cold temperature, but the freshness would be the same. Ground meats may not last for more than 2 days in the refrigerator.

Once, someone observes any change in the texture, shape, or color of the raw meat inside the fridge, then don’t consume the meat. As some raw meats can go bad very quickly in just a few days.

Why Can Raw Meat Sit Out For This Long?

The raw meats can get worse due to bacterial growth in a huge manner. Some types of meats can go bad before 2 hours. The temperature plays a very important role in determining the shelf life of any food item. When it comes to raw meat, the only favorable temperature is cold temperature. The raw meat would not stay fresh if stored in extremely hot temperatures.

To thaw the raw meat, people can bring the meat from the freezer to the refrigerator. Everyone can use an airtight container to thaw the raw meat. Take the air-tight container and put the meat inside it. Then seal the container to prevent any leakage. Then let the container thaw in cold water in the sink for some time.

This process works extremely well for people who want to thaw the meat just before cooking. Everyone can thaw the raw meat using the microwave. Once the raw meat is thawed in the microwave, then don’t put it back at room temperature. As heat would increase the action and activities of bacteria inside the meat.

The person should choose to cook the meat instantly after thawing the raw meat.


The raw meats are not blessed with a long shelf life if not stored properly. Raw meat hates extremely hot temperatures. Therefore store the raw meats in the freezer to increase their shelf life. The raw meat should not sit out for more than 2 hours, as many experts suggest that it may go bad.

The freshness of the raw meat depends on the storage, and temperature where it is stored.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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