Debate about food sitting out in A/C

I would consider myself to be a bit of a germaphobe, then i get especially neurotic when it comes to food safety because I have experienced food poisoning on numerous chances in my life… My friend and I recently got into a bit of a debate about food safety, and her side of the debate is that she feels that it is perfectly fantastic to leave food out at a party in the dining room as long as the A/C is on and the control equipment is set below 79 degrees. In this fight, she is including foods that would normally be refrigerated such as mayonnaise based potato salad and deviled eggs. My friend thinks that these foods can stay out on the counter in an air conditioned beach home for numerous hours. I personally disagree with my friend’s fight of leaving perishable foods out for hours in an air conditioned dining room. I personally guess that perishable foods should stay in the refrigerator until people are ready to eat them. I do understand that cool rapidly increasing temperatures on the control equipment do prevent the spread of germs, but my paranoia is telling myself and others that 79 degrees is not cool enough for food safety. I guess that the food can be left out in the A/C while people are making their plates, but it should be localed right back in the refrigerator instantly. My friend brought up a point that A/C can help prevent the spread of bacteria and that is why hospitals are always cold. I do agree with her point, but officially hospitals set their control units to 71 degrees rather than 79 degrees; At the end of the day, the two of us did not come to an agreement about the leaving food out in the A/C debate.

 

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