It’ll be fine. Lettuce spends days without refrigeration before you even buy it. It’ll have wilted because of the moisture from the dressing, that’s all.
Lettuce and Greens Precut or prewashed greens won’t survive safely at room temperature for much longer than two hours (and will wilt if placed directly in the sun); raw spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce are only slightly heartier, with outer leaves of intact heads of lettuce or cabbage spoiling first.
All kinds of lettuce will not last very long outside the fridge. Lettuce will usually last for about 2 hours before going bad. After 2 hours, the leaves of the lettuce will start to go soft and wilt.
Q: How long can salads or cut fruits be kept at room temperature? Cut, peeled and cooked fruit and vegetables can be served safely at room temperature for two hours.
Answer: Salads can be safely left out at room temperature for about two hours — or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly in cut produce, including salad greens, that have been left out at room temperature for extended periods.
The USDA says food that has been left out of the fridge for more than two hours should be thrown away. At room temperature, bacteria grows incredibly fast and can make you sick. Reheating something that has been sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours won’t be safe from bacteria.
In general, cooked fries should be discarded after two hours if left at room temperature. A sealed container with fries will certainly accelerate the temperature and humidity that fuels bacteria growth, so figure even less time for safe consumption.
As painful as it is to throw bacon away, it’s definitely better than getting sick. The general, culinary school rule of food safety for raw meat is that you don’t let things sit out more than four hours. For raw mass-produced bacon, that’s probably a good rule of thumb.
To keep yourself safe from bacterial growth or spoilage, you should only keep cheese out for four hours, according to Adam Brock, director of food safety, quality, and regulatory compliance at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
— Never keep eggs unrefrigerated for more than two hours. — Raw eggs and recipes that require them should either be cooked immediately or be refrigerated promptly and cooked within 24 hours.
If you have a salad spinner, use it. It’ll remove the excess water without bruising the lettuce. If you don’t have one, gently pat the lettuce dry with a paper towel or dish towel. Wrap the lettuce in a dry paper towel and place it in a plastic bag or storage container.
Cooked food sitting at room temperature is in what the USDA calls the “Danger Zone,” which is between 40°F and 140°F. In this range of temperatures, bacteria grows rapidly and the food can become unsafe to eat, so it should only be left out no more than two hours.
Once cut or peeled, fresh produce should be refrigerated within 2 hours. If it is left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, throw it away. Remember: To prevent foodborne illness, buy good-quality fruits and vegetables, store them properly and wash them thoroughly.
Throw out any fruit or vegetables that are spoiled or that are left out at room temperature for more than two hours after they have been peeled or cut.
Peaches, plums: Stone fruits should not be refrigerated if they’re unripe as they will not ripen in the fridge. Store them out on the counter and enjoy them as soon as they’re ripe. Be sure to follow the “wash as you eat” rule. Oranges, lemons, limes, clementines: Store citrus fruits on the counter.