How are bento boxes safe to eat when they’re kept at room temperature for several hours before eating?

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How are bento boxes safe to eat when they’re kept at room temperature for several hours before eating?

In: 103

tl;dr you can’t legally sell it in a restaurant, but if it looks and smells fine, it probably is

They’re not technically “safe” if they are held between 40F and 120F for more than 4 hours. ( [r/KitchenConfidential](https://www.reddit.com/r/KitchenConfidential) please don’t crucify me if my numbers are wrong, I’ve been out of the game for a long time)

However, that’s not to say they’re entirely unsafe *for everyone*. The health code is there to protect the entire population, including immunosuppressed folks, kids, elders, etc. If you’re the type to enjoy making cute little lunch boxes, you’re also likely to be younger and your immune system not crushed by existential dread and the boot of the Man on your neck.

While it’s true no one *should* be eating time/temp controlled foods out of regs, they’ll probably be just fine.

Traditional bento recipes are designed to last relatively safely. Lots of traditional bentos contain a little bit of alcohol as a means of keeping bacteria at bay, for example. There are other methods as well that help to keep the food slightly preserved.

where are you going where they’re kept at room temperature for hours, and not either in a chilled display or made right after you order them?

the ones you see in the windows aren’t served to customers, they’re decorative

Like a lunchbox? Kids at school don’t have fridges either.

Cuz they aren’t “safe”. A sandwich has just as much chance of getting germs on it and growing them.