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How Long Does Chicken Last In The Fridge?

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Have you ever wondered if the chicken sitting in your fridge is still fresh or has gone bad?

chicken in the fridge

Many people like to trot to the grocery shop ahead of time, but there is a time limit to how long you can keep the chicken in the fridge. This applies to both raw chicken and cooked chicken.

Chicken meat is bound to get spoiled sooner than you think. It must be preserved properly and at the right temperature to retain any shelf life.

A cooked chicken can stay in the fridge for at least 3 to 4 days. Raw chicken will stay in the fridge for 2 days and not any more than that.

Although the above timeline is quite conducive for us to maintain, storing it fresh for these many days entails preserving it right and intact.

It has to be sealed properly without any loopholes for air or dryness to invade the meat. In this article, we will dig deep into finding out all the facets of storing chicken in the fridge and the duration it can sustain.

A little more on the storage aspects of the chicken will also be discussed here. 

How Long Does Chicken Last In The Fridge?

raw chicken

Two different factors need contemplation separately when dealing with storage. One is raw chicken, and the other is cooked chicken.

A cooked chicken is supposed to retain its shelf life for 3 to 4 days. A raw chicken stays in the fridge for 2 days. Let us get into the type and storage aspects of chicken in detail.

How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last In The Fridge?

Storing the cooked chicken in the fridge is very conventional, and the maximum duration limit is 4 days. However, there are a few things that you need to be wary of when you plan to preserve it in the fridge.

  1. Cooked chicken can last in the fridge for 4 days and not more than that.
  2. Store it in the fridge by wrapping it in an air-tight container or an aluminum foil that closes all its edges.
  3. When placed in the fridge, the leftover chicken can be eaten within 4 days.
  4. If you want to store it for more than 4 days, it can be shoved inside the freezer.
  5. You can reheat the leftover chicken within 4 days if it is not spoiled.
  6. You can extend the timeline up to a week and up to that. It may smell like rotten eggs or have patches on the surface, indicating it has gone bad.
  7. If you know the leftover chicken is spoiled, immediately discard it without second thoughts.

How Long Does Raw Chicken Last In The Fridge?

Buying a raw chicken from the shop ensures that it is stashed in the fridge immediately, which is a regular practice.

While that may be the conventional routine and indeed the right thing to do, it is also important that the chicken can only be preserved there for up to 2 days. Let us get into some details about raw chicken and its storage protocols.

  1. Raw chicken cannot last in the fridge for more than 2 days.
  2. The chicken is bound to get spoiled if left for more than 2 days by USDA standards.
  3. This duration incorporates the time it is purchased.
  4. If you still need it for more than 2 days, you have to preserve it in the freezer.
  5. It can last for months when preserved properly in the freezer. Cut pieces have a longer shelf life than whole meat.
  6. Preserving the chicken encompasses storing it in a sealed container or a fully wrapped plastic bag and even foils, for that matter.

How Long Does A Marinated Chicken Last In The Fridge?

seasoned raw chicken

Marinated chicken can be placed in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days and not any more than that. The moisture that the chicken has gained over marination would drift away if it stays longer than 48 hours.

It will make the chicken mushy and dry, with patches of the coating hanging around the dried surface. Eating or cooking this chicken puts you at the risk of savaging your own health.

Risks Of Consuming Spoiled Chicken

spoiled chicken

Food poisoning is an inevitable consequence of eating spoiled chicken. As the chicken goes bad, many bacterias and microbes breed on the surface and eventually get stuck on the surface and layers.

Washing the chicken could give some relief, but not fully. The toxins on the chicken’s surface penetrate into the skin, rendering it completely unhealthy.

No amount of washing or cooking can save the chicken from apparent contamination. Hence eating spoiled chicken is bound to give you food poisoning, which is, in fact, fatal in many cases. 

Signs To Indicate That Chicken Has Gone Bad

chicken gone bad

Chicken has the capacity to tempt your taste buds, and once you know it is in the fridge, you may want to reheat it and gulp it all away instantly.

However, being careful to check whether it has gone bad is important since you may not want to be the victim of food poisoning.

The signs that determine the chicken has gone bad are the following.

1. Look

Raw chicken – Discoloration of any small extent indicates that the chicken has gone bad. Mainly it would have gray/white or green patches on the surface.

Sometimes it may also have pink or red hues on the layers, which does not necessarily indicate it has gone bad. It would have dried out and would look pale in color when spoiled.

Cooked chicken – Mold growth on the layer of the chicken alongside any pinkish stain on the chicken would indicate it has gone bad.

A cooked chicken would have juices floating around the surface. However, a contaminated cooked chicken would be dry and faded to indicate that it cannot be rehashed at any cost.

2. Smell

Raw chicken – A spoiled chicken will be repulsive even as you come closer to it. It will radiate a smell of rotten eggs or a sulfur-like odor that would make you puke instantly.

Cooked chicken – Cooked chicken would smell horrible as well. More importantly, the natural smell of the cooked chicken would have vanished, leaving a residual bad odor that is repulsive.

3. Texture

Raw chicken – Spoiled chicken will have a slimy and sticky texture. If you touch it, you would probably feel like you are touching glue that never leaves your hand that easily.

Cooked chicken – dryness is the first indication of a spoiled cooked chicken. The juices would have made patches, and the surface would look dry and slimy to the touch.

4. Expiration Date

Chicken that is past its expiration date is not recommended to be eaten at any cost without a doubt. This factor has to be checked while you are purchasing the chicken.

How Do You Properly Store Raw And Cooked Chicken?

frozen chicken

The below steps will help you preserve the chicken meat intact and safely. It is easy to follow when you have it in front of you for your awareness.

Storing It In The Fridge

Cooked chicken – When storing the cooked chicken in the fridge, it is important to let it cool down a little bit. It is then wrapped in foils without any leaps and shoved in the fridge without any contact with the other food items.

Raw chicken – storing a raw chicken is quite vulnerable as the juices from the chicken may leak out and spoil all the items in the fridge. It is better to save it in an air-tight container where no exposure to air is remotely possible.

Storing It In The Freezer

Cooked chicken – Cooked chicken can be kept in the freezer for months without any hassles. It must be packed in a wrapped foil to avoid external air intrusion.

Raw chicken – the packaging of the raw chicken has to be discarded, and it has to be stored in an air-tight container. It can last for months if preserved in this fashion.

Conclusion

Storing a chicken might come across as a tricky business, but it definitely deserves that effort. Failing on its storage procedure might risk your health or lead to food poisoning when you try to eat it.

If you are tempted to eat chicken, then knowing better about preserving it right is important. This article is just about making you aware of steps you need to be wary of if you have chicken meat in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does chicken last in the fridge?

A cooked chicken is supposed to retain its shelf life for 3 to 4 days. A raw chicken stays in the fridge for 2 days. Let us get into the type and storage aspects of chicken in detail.

How long does a marinated chicken last in the fridge?

Marinated chicken can be placed in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days and not any more than that. The moisture that the chicken has gained over marination would drift away if it stays longer than 48 hours.

What are the risks of consuming spoiled chicken?

Food poisoning is an inevitable consequence of eating spoiled chicken. As the chicken goes bad, many bacteria and microbes breed on the surface and eventually get stuck on the surface and layers.

How long does a cooked chicken last in the fridge?

Storing the cooked chicken in the fridge is very conventional, and the maximum duration limit is 4 days. However, there are a few things that you need to be wary of when you plan to preserve it in the fridge.

How do you properly store chicken?

You can either store it in the freezer or fridge. If it is preserved in the freezer, it will last for months together.

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