Debate about food laying out in a/c

I would consider myself to be a bit of a germaphobe, i get especially neurotic when it comes to food safety because I have experienced food poisoning on various chances in our life.

My friend as well as I recently got into a bit of a debate about food safety! Her side of the debate is that she feels that it is perfectly nice to leave food out at a celebration in the dining room as long as the a/c is on as well as the temperature control is set below 77 degrees.

In this fight, she is including foods that would normally be refrigerated such as mayonnaise based potato salad as well as deviled eggs. My friend thinks that these foods can stay out on the counter in an air conditioned home for multiple hours. I personally disagree with our friend’s fight of leaving perishable foods out for hours in an air conditioned dining room. I personally think that perishable foods should stay in the refrigerator until people are ready to eat them. I do understand that cool temperatures on the temperature control do prevent the spread of germs, however our paranoia is telling me that 77 degrees is not cool enough for food safety. I believe that the food can be left out in the a/c while people are making their plates, however it should be placed right back in the refrigerator immediately. My friend brought up a point that a/c can help prevent the spread of bacteria as well as that is why hospitals are always cold. I do agree with her point, however correctly hospitals set their temperature controls to 68 degrees rather than 77 degrees. At the end of the day, both of us did not come to an agreement about the leaving food out in the a/c debate.

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