Can You Still Use Baked Potatoes if They Are Left Out All Night?


Potatoes need no refrigeration or special handling until they are cooked. Once they're cooked, you must treat them as you would other cooked foods to keep them safe to eat. For cooked potatoes and other starchy foods, safe handling means refrigerating them to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Potatoes left out all night are not safe to eat.

Baked Potato Storage Timing

  • Because cooked potatoes are starchy, bacteria multiply readily and you should never eat a baked potato that has been left out all night, even if it smells or tastes OK. Any uneaten baked potatoes should be put in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking to prevent the growth of bacteria. Eat the baked potatoes within seven days when they're stored in the refrigerator.

Baked Potato Storage Temperatures

  • The danger zone for food is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 F. Any susceptible food left between these two temperatures for more than two hours could make you sick. When any uneaten baked potatoes have cooled to room temperature, place them in the refrigerator to get the temperature below 40 F. When reheating a baked potato, make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 F before serving. Put a kitchen thermometer into the center of the potato to check the temperature.

Baked Potato Storage Tips

  • Store baked potatoes in a glass or plastic container once they have cooled. Make sure they're at room temperature before you seal the container to prevent condensation from forming, which can lead to spoilage. Avoid leaving baked potatoes in aluminum foil if they were cooked in foil to prevent the growth of the rare, but deadly botulism toxin.

Baked Potato Reheating Tips

  • Reheat baked potatoes in your oven or microwave. If using an oven, cook the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 F or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. To reheat in the microwave, rotate the potato several times during cooking to ensure it is uniformly heated. Test the internal temperature with a kitchen thermometer before serving.

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