How Long Does Chicken Last?

How long does chicken last? With all the bad press about red meat, it's a good thing there are more chickens on earth than humans. The shelf life of chicken depends on a variety of factors, such as the sell by date, the preparation method and how it was stored. Because of its relatively low cost and proven health benefits (over red meats), chicken is one of the most popular meats in the world. Nearly all parts of the bird can be used for food, and the meat can be cooked in endless ways.

So, how long does chicken last? The shelf life of chicken past its sell by date is approximately ...

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Chicken Expiration Date

(Unopened) Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Fresh Chicken lasts for 1-2 Days 1 Year
Cooked Chicken lasts for 7 Days 1 Year
Roasted Chicken lasts for 7 Days 6-8 Months
(Opened) Pantry Fridge
Canned Chicken lasts for - 7 Days

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember that most proteins, usually have a sell by date and not a use by date or expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it for a short period after the sell by date has lapsed.

How to tell if Chicken is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your chicken has gone bad. Some common traits of bad chicken are a dull, slimy flesh and a sour smell.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Chicken to extend its shelf life?

You can help chicken keep fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator immediately after use. Once prepared, chicken should be stored in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants.

For a long-term option, you can freeze your chicken while preserving its taste if you use a freezer safe container. If frozen in this way raw chicken can be stored for up to 2 years without losing any quality in taste or texture.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Chicken:

  • 1) Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water, including cleaning all work surfaces with disinfectant after working with chicken. 2) Always cook chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Juices from a properly cooked chicken will be completely clear. Doing both of these things will help prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and E-coli which are often associated with chicken.
  • Cornish Game Hens are actually baby chickens that are only 5-6 weeks old.
  • Chicken bones make great chicken stock.
  • How long is Chicken good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does chicken last? That depends. How long does pasta last? In general, foods last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Chicken lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Chicken.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Chicken shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

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    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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