How long can bentos be left out?

Bento-ing from: › Wisconsin › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2010
User offline. Last seen 8 years 45 weeks ago.

I'm new to bento creating, but I've kept up with Pikko's Adventures in Bentomaking blog for ages. That's what originally peaked my interest as well as a desire to moderate my portions. I feel like I'll have no problem with the cooking and creating aspects of bento boxes, but I have one issue that I haven't been able to find answered anywhere: How long can bento boxes be left out?

Fridge and microwave access at my work place aren't a problem, and I know that there are quite a few options for microwaveable bentos. But cold rice just isn't that fun (or yummy), and it'd be a shame to create a hot lunch only to take it out of the fridge 3-4 hours later. This is assuming that you have a basic bento creation of rice, a side of meat and cooked veggies, etc.

So, can a bento be left out for a few hours, or should I just invest in an insulated box/bag/thermos type bento?

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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 37 weeks ago.
Re: How long can bentos be left out?

Bentos are intended to be eaten at room temperature - think sushi if you don't think cold rice is yummy. Refrigerated rice, on the other hand, is pretty horrid. All the bentos Maki makes are fine to be left out at room temp from breakfast time until lunchtime.



My blog is Food and Shoes

Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 3 weeks 2 days ago.
Re: How long can bentos be left out?

Hi Amarante, this bento safety article may answer many of your questions. If you are comfortable with say, eating a ham or tuna sandwich or a chicken salad packed in the morning and eaten at lunchtime, then you should be fine with bento lunches!


The Big Onigiri.

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