Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Lauren Beck
If you’re similar to the majority of individuals, the longevity of an unrefrigerated burger may not be a top concern for you. After all, it’s essentially just a burger, correct? However, this assumption is incorrect.
Burgers are perishable items and, as such, need to be stored properly to ensure their safety and longevity. So how long is a burger good for unrefrigerated?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including how the burger was cooked, how it was stored, and how long it’s been unrefrigerated. But generally speaking, a burger should not be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
How Long Can a Fast Food Burger Sit Out?
If you’ve ever wondered how long those drive-thru burgers can sit out before they’re considered unsafe to eat, the answer is two hours. That’s the maximum amount of time that burgers from fast food restaurants should be left unrefrigerated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) .
How Long Can Hamburgers Stay in the Fridge?
Properly stored, cooked hamburgers will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. To extend the shelf life of cooked hamburgers, freeze them within 2-3 days.
What Happens If Cooked Hamburger Sits Out Too Long?
Cooked hamburgers that have been sitting out for longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour above 90° F) should be discarded. The reason is that bacteria grow rapidly when cooked hamburgers are kept at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F, and these bacteria can cause food poisoning.
How Long Can Cooked Hamburger Be In The Car For?
Cooked hamburgers should not be left in the car for more than 2 hours, regardless of the outside temperature. If it is warmer than 90° F outside, the hamburgers should be thrown out after 1 hour.
Can You Eat a Cooked Hamburger Left Out Overnight?
No, you should not eat a cooked hamburger that has been left out overnight.Cooked hamburgers that have been left out for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour above 90° F) should be discarded. The reason is that bacteria grow rapidly when cooked hamburgers are kept at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F, and these bacteria can cause food poisoning.
A Note on Food Safety
It’s important to note that the 2-hour rule for unrefrigerated burgers is only a guideline. The best way to ensure the safety of your burgers is to cook them properly and store them properly. When in doubt, throw it out!
Storing the Cooked Hamburger
For the longest shelf life, cooked hamburgers should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours of cooking. When stored properly, cooked hamburgers will last 3-4 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer.
How to Tell if a Cooked Hamburger Has Gone Bad?
Here are a few signs that your cooked hamburger has gone bad:
- The hamburger has a slimy or tacky texture.
- The hamburger has a sour or off odor.
- The hamburger is discolored.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the hamburger.
Will Reheating The Hamburger Meat Kill Off Bacteria?
Yes, reheating the hamburger meat will kill off bacteria. However, it’s important to reheat the meat to a temperature of 165° F to ensure food safety.
Tips on Reheating Burgers
Here are a few tips on how to reheat your burgers:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place the burgers on a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165° F.
- If you’re short on time, you can place the burgers in a microwave-safe dish and cook on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165° F.
No matter how you choose to reheat your burgers, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165° F before eating.
Can You Get Sick From Eating a Burger That’s Been Left Out Overnight?
Yes, you can get sick from eating a burger that’s been left out overnight. If you’re unsure whether or not a burger has been left out for too long, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
How to Make Burger Last Longer?
If you want your burger to last longer, it’s important to store it properly. Cooked burgers should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours of cooking. When stored properly, cooked burgers will last 3-4 days in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer.
Wrapping it Up
Now you know how long burgers are good for unrefrigerated. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food safety. If you’re unsure whether or not a burger has been left out for too long, it’s best to throw it out. Thanks for reading!