Knowing when chicken has become unsafe to eat is an important part of minimizing food waste and keeping your family safe. The sell by date on chicken may provide clues as to how long it should remain safe in your refrigerator, but oftentimes the actual length of time depends on several factors. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best practices for determining if and how long is chicken good after the sell by date and give you tips for safely storing and preparing it for meals in the future.
What Does The Sell-By Date On Chicken Mean?
“The sell-by” date on chicken refers to the last day that retailers can display the product on store shelves. It is commonly believed that chicken is safe to eat for up to 10 days after the sell-by date, assuming proper storage. Pay attention to the sell-by dates on meat and poultry.
Chicken Sell-By Date Vs. Use-By Date
When it comes to chicken, understanding the difference between the sell-by date and the use-by date is crucial. After the sell-by date, chicken can generally be refrigerated for up to 4 days without compromising freshness. It’s important to note that the sell-by date is not an expiration or “use-by” date. Instead, it serves as a reference for store staff, indicating the last day the chicken should be sold.
On the other hand, some poultry producers add a use-by date to recommend consuming the chicken for optimal quality. This date is usually three to five days after packaging. Remember, assessing the freshness of the product based on its appearance and smell is a better indication of food safety.
How Long Is Chicken Good After The Sell By Date?
Chicken can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days after the sell-by date. However, it is important to check for signs of spoilage before consuming it. If the chicken appears slimy or emits an off-odor, it should not be consumed and should be discarded.
Watch this video to know how long is chicken good after the sell by date.
Is Chicken Safe To Eat After The Sell-By Date?
Regarding the safety of consuming chicken after the sell-by date, it is important to note that if the chicken has been stored properly, it should still be acceptable. The USDA advises cooking or freezing chicken within 1 to 2 days after purchase. Although consuming it beyond this timeframe may carry some risk, it is recommended to check for any signs of spoiling before consuming.
Read more: how to cook chicken breast in the oven
How To Tell If Chicken Is Bad?
To determine if chicken has gone bad, follow these steps:
- Smell it: If the chicken emits a foul odor, discard it immediately.
- Touch it: If the chicken feels excessively slimy or slippery, it is an indication of spoilage and should not be consumed.
- Observe it: Check for any rough or discolored areas on the chicken. If present, it is best to throw it out.
How To Store Chicken Properly?
- Packaged, raw chicken can be refrigerated in its original wrapping in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 48 hours after purchase. If it won’t be used within 48 hours, it is recommended to freeze it.
- Cooked and cut-up chicken is best when refrigerated for two days or less, while whole, cooked chicken is best when refrigerated for three days or less.
- Store fresh, uncooked chicken on a low shelf in the refrigerator to prevent it from dripping onto other items.
- For convenient storage and to prevent freezer burn, wrap separate chicken pieces in foil or plastic bags, and then place all the wrapped or bagged pieces into a larger freezer bag or foil wrap. Press out all the air from the package and label it with the contents and the date it was frozen.
Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken?
You can freeze cooked chicken. If cooked on the bone, it’s recommended to remove the meat from the bones and shred it. Place the shredded chicken in a freezer bag, remove the air, and label it. Fillets can be left whole if desired. Saucy chicken dishes can be stored in an airtight container, making sure to leave some room at the top for expansion. The cooked chicken can be kept in the freezer for up to three months and can be defrosted in the fridge or by following the microwave’s instructions.
FAQ: Chicken After The Sell By Date
Can you eat chicken 3 days after sell by date?
According to the USDA, the date on the package is not an expiration date, but rather the date when the chicken starts to decline in quality. You should consume the chicken within two days after that date. Beyond this timeframe, rely on your senses to determine if the chicken has spoiled.
Can I eat chicken 5 days after the sell-by date?
According to FDA guidelines, it is not recommended to consume chicken 5 days after the sell-by date. The FDA advises consumers to purchase chicken before the sell-by date and to consume it within two days if stored in the refrigerator.
Can I cook chicken 7 days after sell by date?
It is not recommended to cook chicken 7 days after the sell-by date. The USDA advises cooking or freezing chicken within 1 to 2 days of purchase for optimal safety. While it might still be safe to consume beyond that timeframe, it is important to check for any signs of spoilage before eating.
Bobby Kelly is a bartender at Molly Magees, an Irish pub in Mountain View. He’s been working there for two years and has developed a following among the regulars. Bobby is known for his friendly demeanor and great drink specials. He loves interacting with customers and making them feel welcome. When he’s not at work, Bobby enjoys spending time with his friends and family.
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