Chicken is a classic dinner option that you can prepare in many ways, from roasting it yourself to adding flavorful sauces or toppings. But how long can raw chicken last in the refrigerator before being safe to prepare and consume?
Review the package date and remove any spoiled chicken. A fresh piece of poultry should smell fresh and have a pale pink color with no sticky or slimy surfaces.
Raw chicken can be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria such as Salmonella and E coli. When left sitting at room temperature for too long, these harmful organisms can quickly multiply and grow to dangerous levels; to keep the safest option for storage is in the fridge where heat kills most bacteria – but just in case, use a food thermometer when cooking and always wash your hands after handling raw meat!
Refrigerating raw chicken after its sell-by date typically lasts two days; however, this number may depend on several factors including your fridge temperature and external factors like the ambient temperatures when shopping as well as exposure to temperature extremes during transportation from grocery store to home refrigerator.
As soon as you get raw chicken home, it is best to store it immediately in an airtight container in the fridge so as to prevent bacteria from spreading and to keep its freshness for as long as possible. An airtight lid may help ensure moisture from within remains trapped within it and helps ensure freshness is preserved.
When using an instant-read meat thermometer, it is wise to take multiple readings from various parts of the chicken in order to ensure accuracy. Since bone tends to trap air–insulation that will slow the thermometer’s ability to read accurately–taking readings nearer to the edge of meat rather than close to bone can provide more reliable readings.
If you find it hard to remember when to cook chicken, investing in a digital meat thermometer may help. Available at most home goods stores at an extremely reasonable cost, the digital thermometer will allow you to make sure the chicken you are cooking reaches an appropriate temperature; plus it can alert you if its temperatures have reached excessively high levels!
It’s essential to follow the two-hour rule when cooking raw chicken, as this gives bacteria enough time to grow unchecked and make your meal unfit for consumption.
Salmonella, E.coli and Campylobacter bacteria often form on raw poultry products that come into contact with human saliva; when this bacteria reach internal temperatures in chicken meat they can release toxins that make you sick; therefore it’s crucial that all harmful bacteria be destroyed by properly cooking your meal.
Once you remove raw chicken from its packaging, according to The Huffington Post it should be stored in an airtight container such as a Ziploc bag or Tupperware to preserve its quality and prevent any potential contamination of other foods in your fridge. Furthermore, for optimal freshness it should be placed in the coldest area of your refrigerator where its chances of staying fresh will increase significantly.
Carefully reviewing your chicken packaging and expiration dates can help protect against spoilage, but remember that “sell-by” dates do not represent safety dates and do not indicate when its quality declines. Conversely, “use-by” dates serve as a reliable indicator for this purpose.
If the chicken has reached its sell-by or use-by date, or appears slimy or has an unpleasant odor, this should be considered a telltale sign that it has gone bad and should be thrown out immediately.
Ultimately, if you find raw chicken that has gone bad, don’t panic! As long as the bird hasn’t been exposed to temperatures above the temperature danger zone for more than two hours and remains bright pink in color, it is usually safe if season appropriately and cooked thoroughly. However, any chicken which has turned pale yellow or green should always be discarded since this indicates an extended exposure and could contain dangerous bacteria.
Food storage and safety guidelines for raw chicken storage should always be observed to avoid risk of food poisoning for yourself and any members of your household. By adhering to these instructions for safe chicken handling and storage in the fridge, these regulations can help minimize foodborne illness outbreaks and help ensure the safe consumption of chicken meals.
First step to proper chicken preparation before placing in the refrigerator: wash your hands thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination between foods, and use a clean chopping board or knife to chop up chicken. It may also be beneficial to have an individual cutting board dedicated to raw meat to avoid juices contaminating other items in your fridge.
When storing large amounts of chicken for future cooking, proper storage in the fridge is key to its freshness and longevities. An airtight container with lid should be chosen and kept far away from other foods to prevent contamination and ensure longer freshness for your dish.
Before placing food into your fridge, be sure to double-check its expiration date. If it appears close to its shelf life expiration, discard it to avoid food poisoning risks.
One way to tell if your chicken has gone bad is its smell. If the poultry emits an overpowering, pungent or ammonia-like odor, it’s probably past its prime and should not be consumed. Another method would be using a fork to test its temperature; firm and with slight pink tint are ideal.
Properly storing and cooking chicken will protect you from food poisoning. Salmonella is one of the primary risks associated with eating raw poultry, posing mild to severe symptoms in its wake. Therefore, it’s crucial that you follow guidelines for safe preparation and storage as well as using a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches an appropriate temperature before being served to guests.
Food safety experts advise storing raw chicken for no more than two days in your refrigerator before cooking it, even if its sell-by date hasn’t passed. After this point, its taste will begin to diminish and may become contaminated with bacteria which could cause food poisoning.
The “sell-by” date on chicken packages serves as a marketing label that informs retailers when the meat has reached peak freshness and should be displayed for inventory management purposes. This date does not serve as a safety or expiration label but instead informs when inventory needs replenishment.
DiGeronimo recommends picking up raw chicken near the end of your grocery trip in order to minimize exposure to dangerous temperatures, and use a cooler or cooler bag when possible in order to prevent juices from the chicken dripping onto other food in your fridge, helping preserve its quality as well as that of fruits and vegetables.
Once your groceries have arrived at home, place raw chicken on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so it doesn’t come into contact with any produce or fresh foods, according to Sheehan. In addition, it would be wise to separate raw chicken from other proteins, such as fish, which could potentially carry similar types of bacteria as its chicken counterpart.
Meal prepping for the week should include planning ahead: frozen chicken can be stored safely for six months when stored without touching other foods and in tightly wrapped packaging, helping avoid freezer burn which causes grayish-brown leathery spots on its surface and leaves it tasting bland and tasteless. Proper wrapping may also prevent freezer burn which results in grayish-brown leathery spots on its surface which result in dry flavorless spots on your chicken’s exterior surface.
If any signs of freezer burn arise, discard the chicken immediately and begin defrosting another package of thawed poultry. Cooked poultry may last longer but tends to lose its taste within four weeks as other flavors or textures from dishes or sauces have seeped into it.