how long can chicken stay in the fridge?- Many people regard chicken to be a basic meat. However, there is a substantial danger of bacterial contamination in this healthful and tasty source of protein. That is why it is critical to properly prepare, store, and cook it – otherwise, it might become a source of foodborne illness. While storing chicken in the fridge is handy, many people ask how long they can safely keep chicken refrigerated. This post will explain how long chicken will last in your refrigerator.
how long can chicken stay in the fridge?
Raw chicken may be stored in the refrigerator for about 1–2 days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The same holds true with raw turkey and other fowl.
Meanwhile, cooked chicken may be stored in the refrigerator for 3–4 days.
Bacterial development is slowed when chicken is stored in the refrigerator because bacteria grow slower at temperatures below 40°F (4°C).
Additionally, raw chicken should be kept in a leak-proof container to avoid fluids from spilling and contaminating other items. Cooked chicken should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you need to keep chicken for more than a few days, place it in the freezer.
Raw chicken parts may be saved for up to 9 months, while a whole chicken can be preserved for up to a year. Cooked chicken may be frozen for up to 6 months.
How to tell if chicken has gone bad?
If you’ve had chicken in the fridge for more than a few days, it’s possible that it’s gone bad.
Here are several methods to detect whether the chicken in your refrigerator has gone bad.
It has beyond its “best by” date. Raw and cooked chicken that has passed its “best if used by/before” date is more likely to be spoiled.
Color changes. Raw and cooked chicken that has begun to develop a gray-green hue is spoiled. Bacterial growth is indicated by gray-to-green mold spots.
Smell. As it deteriorates, both raw and cooked chicken exude an acidic odor like ammonia. However, if the chicken has been marinated with sauces, herbs, or spices, this fragrance may be difficult to detect.
Texture. The chicken has gone rotten if it has a slimy feel. Bacteria are not destroyed by rinsing the chicken. Instead, this can transport pathogens from chicken to other meals, utensils, and surfaces, resulting in cross-contamination.
If you believe that the chicken in your fridge has gone bad, throw it out.
Risks of eating spoiled chicken
Foodborne sickness, sometimes known as food poisoning, can result from eating rotten chicken.
Chicken has a significant potential of producing food poisoning due to the presence of germs such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and others.
These germs are normally eradicated when fresh chicken is completely cooked.
You should, however, avoid preparing and consuming ruined chicken. Although re-heating or cooking can kill surface germs, it will not remove some of the toxins generated by bacteria, which can cause food poisoning if consumed.
Food poisoning can result in unpleasant and potentially deadly symptoms such as a high temperature (above 101.5°F or 38.6°C), chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and dehydration.
Severe food poisoning might need hospitalization and even death in extreme circumstances.
If you fear your chicken has gone bad, don’t eat it. It’s usually advisable to toss out poultry that seems to be spoiled.
When Is Chicken Still Safe to Eat?
The USDA recommends eating cooked chicken within 3 to 4 days. It’s really that simple.
What if it’s been a longer period of time – say, 5 days? The rest is up to you. Pathogens that can develop on chicken have no flavor or smell and will not alter the appearance of the chicken. Make the best decision you can.
“When in doubt, toss it away,” as the saying goes.
Chicken salad (5 days), chicken hot dogs (2 weeks unopened, 1 week after opening), packaged chicken lunch meat (2 weeks unopened, 3 to 5 days after opening), and deli chicken lunchmeat are exceptions to this 3 to 4 day norm (3 to 5 days).
How to Use Up Cooked Chicken?
It’s a pain to throw away leftovers. Here are some easy methods to prevent throwing out perfectly fine food. The only thing that matters is that you do it before it becomes questionable.
It should be frozen. Place that chicken in the freezer before it reaches the point of no return. Depending on the item, you may freeze cooked chicken for up to a year, according to the USDA. To avoid freezer burn, we recommend using everything within a few months. Food that has been frozen and burnt is safe to consume, although it does not taste very nice. To clear up a stash of frozen chicken, create a batch of chicken stock, especially if you’re storing bone-in chicken.
Prepare a chicken salad. And ideally, eat it the same day or the next day.
For a fast meal, toss the chicken with some spaghetti.
For a quick lunch, tuck it inside a tortilla.
Shred it and cook it in a quick soup.
How long can you keep chicken in the fridge?
Raw chicken: You’ll need to boil or freeze it quickly. Raw chicken will only stay in the refrigerator for around 1-2 days, according to the Food and Drug Administration. (The same is true for turkey and other fowl.) If you freeze it in a sealed, freezer-safe container or vacuum-sealed package, it should be safe to defrost and consume for up to 9 months in parts or up to 12 months in whole.
You have a little more time with cooked chicken, but not much. Cooked chicken will stay in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, according to FDA regulations. (The same is true for turkey and other fowl.) Cooked chicken can be stored in the freezer in a sealed, freezer-safe container or vacuum-packed packaging for up to 4 months before thawing and eating.
How to tell if chicken is bad — whether it’s cooked or raw
There are a few techniques to determine whether or not the chicken you threw in the fridge has gone bad. The tests for raw vs. cooked chicken are comparable but not identical. Here are a number of acronyms created by yours truly to assist you.
SPOT it for raw chicken…
Is there a stench? Rotten chicken has a distinct and strong odor. If the chicken has not gone bad, it should just smell like chicken and not emit a strong, repulsive odor.
Check the “best by” date if it is still sealed in the package. If you’ve gone over that limit and it’s been in the fridge for a week, it’s probably no longer safe.
Fresh chicken has a delicate pink tint to it. It’s probably not safe if it’s gone gray.
Touch: Chicken should not be slimy or snotty. Throw it out if it resembles mucus in any way.
SMOT it for cooked chicken…
Smell: Perform the same test as for raw chicken, but be aware of seasonings that may hide the stench of rotten chicken. If it’s past its prime, it’ll most likely smell like rotten eggs.
Mold: This is something you should be aware of right away. There should be no black or green fuzz on your chicken.
Color, once again, is important. Cooked chicken should be white on the inside, so if it’s gray or stained, it’s not safe.
Taste: Obviously, no one wants to eat rotten chicken, but if all of the other tests fail and you’re still not convinced, take a little piece. If it doesn’t taste good, you’ll know right away, and you should spit it out and toss it.
Remember that no matter how good a cooked item was when it was freshly prepared, if it has gone bad, it will most likely make you sick. Be ruthless. When in doubt, toss it.