What is your salad based on? If it’s vinegar or oil, then it’s all right to keep the food out of the fridge for quite a long period of time. Unfortunately, salad dressings that come in contact with low temperatures change their texture and taste and make your salad smell different. If your salad is based on yogurt or mayo, then it should be stored in the fridge. In all other instances it is safe to keep your salad away from the cooler.