In many households, chicken is a delicious staple meat. You might have frozen chicken stored in your freezer so you can satisfy your cravings whenever you feel the temptation to eat a hearty chicken meal.
However, this delicious and healthy source of protein carries a high risk of bacterial contamination. For this reason, you need to prepare, store, and cook it properly — otherwise, you can encounter a foodborne illness – which is no fun.
Most people know that you can store it in your refrigerator for a few days, but for how long can frozen chicken last?
If that’s what you’re trying to find out, then keep reading this article. It will help you find out how long you can safely refrigerate fresh chicken and ways to tell if the frozen chicken has gone bad.
How Long Does It Last In The Fridge?
The duration varies depending on the state of the chicken. Any kind of raw poultry can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. If the chicken is cooked, it should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than 4 days.
When the temperature is below 4°C, bacterial growth slows down. That’s why it’s advised to store cooked or raw chicken in the refrigerator.
If you want to keep chicken stored for more than just a few days, then the ideal way is to freeze the chicken in your freezer. Frozen chicken lasts way longer than the chicken stored in the refrigerator.
Raw frozen chicken kept in the freezer can last up to nine months. If the chicken is whole & not cut into pieces, it can last in the freezer for up to 1 year. Cooked frozen chicken can last up to six months.
How Can You Tell If The Chicken Has Gone Bad?
If you have chicken stored in your fridge for more than a few days now, the chances are that it might have gone bad. But how can you identify if the chicken has gone bad?
To find out, look for the following signs in your chicken:
- If the stored chicken has passed its “best by” date, don’t use this chicken and get rid of it properly so other animals can’t eat it either.
- Whether it’s raw chicken or cooked, colour changes occur when it has gone bad. If you find out that its colour is turning into a gray-green colour, it indicates bacterial growth. Never use chicken in such a condition.
- Another prominent factor is the acidic smell. Whether it’s raw or cooked, if the chicken has an acidic smell resembling ammonia, then it’s a sure sign that your chicken has gone bad. If the chicken has been marinated, it might mask that ammonia smell, don’t ignore other obvious signs if this is the case.
- By looking for certain signs of the chicken’s texture, you can determine if it has gone bad or not. If the chicken has a slimy texture, don’t use it. If the chicken has a weird texture, it might indicate the presence of bacteria.
If you notice any of the above signs in chicken stored in your fridge, it means that it has gone bad. Discard it immediately before cross-contamination happens. It is always better to be safe than sorry. There you have it, – this is how a frozen chicken lasts!
Are you looking for 100% safe and fresh chicken for your restaurant? Get in touch with Grain Field Chicken – A Leading South African Poultry Farm; They offer fresh, on-demand chicken supply anywhere, anytime.