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How Long Can Raw Chicken Stay in the Fridge?

How long is safe to keep chicken in the fridge?

by ocotlam

Chicken is one of the most dangerous meats so we recommend to use from 1 to 3 days after you purchase it or store it in the freezer if not use it right away, frozen chicken can last up to 12 months and leftovers can be store in the cooler an extra 3 to 4 days.

How long does chicken last in the refrigerator?

When it comes to storing raw chicken in the fridge, timing is everything.

You don’t want to keep it in there for too long and risk foodborne illnesses, but you also don’t want to throw it out prematurely and waste perfectly good chicken. So, how long can you safely keep raw chicken in the fridge?

Generally speaking, raw chicken can last up to two days in the refrigerator. However, this timeline can vary depending on a few factors.

First, it’s crucial to ensure that your fridge is set to a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). This will help slow down bacterial growth and extend the shelf life of your chicken.

Another factor that affects how long raw chicken lasts in the fridge is its freshness when purchased. If you bought a package of fresh chicken from a reputable source with a recent expiration date, it should stay good for around two days after opening.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with leftovers or cooked chicken that’s been properly stored and refrigerated promptly after cooking, they can last up to four days. Now, let’s talk about some signs that indicate your raw chicken has gone bad.

If you notice a strong odor coming from your package of raw chicken or any slimy texture on its surface, it’s time to bid farewell and toss it out immediately. Additionally, if there are any noticeable changes in color or if the meat feels sticky or tacky when touched, these are also red flags indicating spoilage.

While raw chicken can stay fresh for about two days in the refrigerator under optimal conditions, always rely on your senses before cooking or consuming it. When in doubt, remember: when dealing with poultry products, it’s better safe than sorry!

What are the signs that raw chicken has gone bad?

When it comes to raw chicken, it’s crucial to be able to spot the signs of spoilage. Nobody wants to cook up a meal only to find out later that the chicken was past its prime.

So, how can you tell if your raw chicken has gone bad? Well, there are a few key indicators you should keep an eye out for.

Firstly, pay close attention to the smell. Fresh raw chicken should have a faint, slightly sweet odor.

However, if you notice any strong or pungent smell, it’s a clear sign that something is off. The scent of spoiled chicken can be described as rotten or sour and is often quite distinctive.

Trust your nose; if it smells funky, it’s best to toss it out. Another telltale sign of spoiled chicken is the appearance.

Look for any changes in color or texture. Fresh raw chicken should have a pinkish hue with no gray or green discoloration.

If you see any slime or sticky film on the surface of the meat, that’s a red flag right there! Additionally, check for any unusual growths such as mold or black spots – these are definite signs of bacterial growth and should not be ignored.

Consider the texture of the raw chicken. It should feel firm and slightly springy when touched.

If you notice any sliminess or excessive softness in certain areas, that could indicate bacterial contamination and spoilage as well. Remember that fresh raw poultry should not be overly mushy or slimy; these are indications that your meal may end up causing discomfort rather than satisfaction.

To ensure food safety and prevent any foodborne illnesses caused by spoiled chicken consumption, always trust your senses when determining whether raw chicken has gone bad. When in doubt, discard it rather than risking your health by consuming potentially contaminated meat.

What do the dates on the packaging mean?

When you stroll down the meat aisle of your local grocery store, you’ll notice that every package of raw chicken is adorned with a set of mysterious numbers and letters. These are the dates on the packaging, and they actually hold some important information about how long you can keep the chicken in your fridge. The first date you’ll encounter is the “sell-by” date.

This date indicates the last day that the store should sell the chicken for it to be at its best quality. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that the chicken will spoil immediately after this date.

In fact, if stored properly, it can still be safe to consume for a few more days. Next up is the “best-by” or “use-by” date.

This is when the manufacturer suggests using or consuming the chicken by for optimal taste and quality. While it’s not an indicator of safety, it’s generally advised to adhere to this date as closely as possible.

There might also be a packaging date mentioned on some chicken packages. This refers to when exactly the chicken was packaged at a processing facility or butcher shop before being shipped to stores.

It provides a helpful reference point in understanding how fresh or aged your poultry is. Remember, these dates serve as rough guidelines and are not hard and fast rules for determining whether your raw chicken has spoiled or not.

Always use your senses – smell and appearance – as ultimate judges of freshness before cooking or consuming any poultry product. Properly understanding these dates on packaging ensures that you can make informed decisions about how long you can safely keep raw chicken in your fridge without compromising taste or risking foodborne illnesses.

How to choose and store chicken so it stays fresh

When it comes to choosing and storing chicken, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way in ensuring that it stays fresh for as long as possible. Firstly, opt for chicken that is bright in color, with no discoloration or blemishes.

The skin should be smooth and intact. Avoid chicken with a strong, unpleasant odor as this could indicate spoilage.

Additionally, make sure to check the packaging for any signs of leakage or damage. To keep your chicken fresh at home, it’s important to store it properly.

If you plan on using the chicken within a couple of days, you can leave it in its original packaging and place it on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. However, if you’d like to extend its freshness for longer periods, consider repackaging the chicken into an airtight container or ziplock bag.

This will help prevent cross-contamination and maintain its quality. Another tip for keeping raw chicken fresh is to store it below 40°F (4°C).

This means adjusting your refrigerator temperature accordingly. It’s worth noting that higher temperatures can promote bacterial growth and spoilage of the meat.

If you’re unsure about the exact temperature of your fridge, make use of a food thermometer to double-check – precision is key! It’s also advisable to keep raw chicken away from other foods in order to minimize any potential cross-contamination risks.

By being mindful about how you choose and store raw chicken, you can ensure that it stays fresh for longer periods without compromising its quality or safety. Remember: inspecting the appearance and smell before purchasing, repackaging if needed, maintaining proper temperatures in your refrigerator, and preventing cross-contamination are all essential steps toward keeping your poultry at its best until you’re ready to cook up a delicious meal!


Understanding how long raw chicken can stay in the fridge is vital for ensuring food safety and preventing foodborne illnesses. It is recommended to consume raw chicken within 1-2 days of purchase or thawing.

However, if you notice any signs of spoilage such as a foul odor, slimy texture, or discoloration, it’s best to discard the chicken immediately. When it comes to the dates on the packaging, it’s important to know that “sell-by” and “use-by” dates are not strict expiration dates.

They indicate the period during which the chicken is at its freshest quality but doesn’t necessarily mean it will become unsafe to eat afterward. Trusting your senses and practicing good food hygiene are crucial in determining if your raw chicken is still good to use.

To choose and store chicken properly, always opt for fresh-looking meat with no visible signs of bruising or damage. It should have a mild odor and feel firm to touch.

Store raw chicken in a refrigerator set at or below 40°F (4°C) in its original packaging or sealed container placed on a tray to catch any potential drips. Additionally, avoid cross-contamination by keeping the raw chicken separate from other foods.

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