How Long Potato Salad Actually Lasts Sitting Out

We've all been there; after a long, hot day at a summer barbecue at the park, you start to get hungry. You meander over to the picnic table, where someone has graciously brought potato salad. We all love a classic potato salad. It's the perfect dish for any get-together. But as you go to scoop some onto your plate, you hesitate. The scorching summer heat has been beating down on this dish for hours, leaving you to wonder if it's still safe to eat.

It's a valid concern. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), any perishable food that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours should be thrown away. So, does the same rule apply to potato salad, or is it fine to consume the summertime staple to your heart's content? Just how long potato salad can actually sit out and still be safe to eat?

Eat (or store) your potato salad as soon as its made

As delicious as potato salad is, it's important to remember that it's a perishable food. This means that it can go bad if it's not properly stored. Potato salad should never be left out for more than two hours, and only for one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Southern Living.

The best way to enjoy potato salad is to eat it while it's still fresh. If you're making potato salad for a picnic or potluck, try to make it as close to the event as possible. This will help ensure that the dish doesn't sit out for too long and become unsafe to eat.

If you need to make potato salad ahead of time, store it in the fridge until you're ready to leave for your event. And when you do head out, be sure to pack the potato salad in an insulated cooler bag with ice packs. This will help keep it cold and safe to eat for longer periods of time.

Potato salad is a delicious summertime dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. But if you're ever unsure about whether or not your potato salad is still safe to eat, it's always better to err on the side of caution and throw it out. Eating spoiled potato salad can lead to food poisoning.