How Long Is Chicken Good For After Its Sell-By Date?

How long is chicken good for after the sell-by date? If stored correctly in a safe manner, the chicken is safe to eat for up to a week following the date of sell-by, following which, it will begin to decrease in quality with each passing day as bacteria begins to develop over it.

You might be aware that perishable products like chicken that is raw chicken are accompanied by an expiration date that determines their freshness.

There are use-by-dates and expiration dates, too many proteins have the date of sale to help you determine the quality.

The whole dating issue could confuse many people regarding whether chickens are safe to consume following the sell-by date or should be thrown away.

Find out details about when the date to sell what it says about the quality of the chicken and the best way to preserve it to ensure it is fresh and also how to determine whether it’s safe to eat:

Does Chicken Taste Great After Its Sell-By-Date?

While the date of expiration on the fresh chicken is to help the retailer to be aware of when they should remove it out of the fridge, however, it can be used to determine when it’s not safe to eat.

To ensure that you get the freshest chicken it is recommended to buy your chicken before or prior to the date of sale.

It’s safe to consume for up to 2 days after the date it is sold. If you do not plan to utilize it within the first 1-2 days after purchasing it, it’s recommended to freeze it.

The reason is that the fresh meat is of its highest quality before the date of sale and begins to decrease in quality every day after that.

If it’s two weeks or more beyond the date of sale the item is considered to be too old to be used and should be removed due to concerns in terms of safety.

After buying chicken, it is kept in a refrigerator for a couple of days at which time the sell-by-date may run out. In this instance, it is in good condition after the expiration date, provided it is stored in a safe manner.

The majority of proteins will last for a long period of time if kept in a healthy environment and are usually accompanied by an expiration date, not an expiration or use-by date.

Sell-By Date Vs Use-By Date Vs Best Before

When purchasing packaged foods typically, we are seeking a sell-by date, use-by date, or best-before date. These help us assess their freshness and the length of time they’ll be useful.

The meaning behind these dates is often unclear, resulting in thousands of dollars of quality food being wasted each year.

It is possible to wonder if items are safe for consumption or should be thrown into the garbage bin. And typically in order to stay safer side, the former option is the one chosen.

Sell-By Date

The “sell-by” date on a product signifies the expiration date of the shelf-life of the product at the retailer. It’s the date on which stores are required to show the item on sale to the general public, following which it is removed.

Although food items are able to be enjoyed for a few days after the date they were sold It is not recommended to purchase items with an expiration date.

Chicken and ground beef may be eaten up to 2 days after their expiration date. Beef lasts for about 3-7 days, while eggs are able to be eaten 3-5 weeks after the expired date.

Use-By Date

The “use-by” date on a product is the date that the manufacturer is able to guarantee the product’s quality. It is the day that is recommended by the manufacturer for consumers to make use of the product to benefit from the product’s top quality.

Foods can be eaten that are used by and not for certain foods like infant formula, however, they’re not to be the best version when it comes to quality.

Best Before Date

Similar to the date of use, the “best before” date also signifies the day on which the product is of top quality.

The date that is best before may also be called”the “best if used by date” by several manufacturers. the food is food-safe and its shelf-life is active up to a few days after the best-before-date has expired.

The Best Way to Conserve Raw Chicken

Chicken is a go-to meat type in most households around the world. We all love roasting chicken, deep-fried, creamy chicken with mushrooms as well as chicken pot pie and of course, chicken wings!

Although chicken is a nutritious and nutritious food source for protein it’s often regarded as to be one of the toughest foods to store and handle because of the high danger of contamination with bacteria.

This is why, upon getting back from the store and bringing home your freshly uncooked chicken, ensure that you put it in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you can.

If you are planning to use it within the next day, you can store it inside the fridge. Anything more than that, and you’ll need to store it inside the freezer.

Raw chicken shouldn’t be placed on the kitchen counter since any temperature that is below 40 degrees is considered to be a danger zone for the growth of bacteria. It is best to store it in the refrigerator, at or less than 40degF or frozen at 0degF or less.

Storage of Chicken Raw in The Refrigerator

These are step-by-step instructions on how to keep fresh chickens in the refrigerator:

  • Put the bird in an airtight plastic bag and wrap it in food-safe plastic.
  • Copy it into an airtight container fitted with a lid.
  • Place the container that is airtight on a tray and place it in an area in the middle of the fridge so that it remains the coldest. The front of the refrigerator is likely to be warmer it is due to the door closing and opening and warm air coming into.
  • Make use of it within 2 days. Note the date and reminder on a label and stick it to the chicken. Use it before it turns bad.

It is essential to store your chicken on a rimmed tray to ensure that there is less risk of juices spilling into your fridge and creating an unclean mess.

Furthermore, be sure to make sure to use a container that is covered as exposed chickens dry out more quickly and will have less shelf life than chicken that is covered.

Additionally, covering it will reduce the possibility of the chicken coming in contact with food items in your fridge and spreading the bacteria. In addition, it keeps the chicken from taking in unpleasant odors that emanate from your refrigerator.

Storage of Chicken Raw in The Freezer

It isn’t recommended to keep the raw chicken in the refrigerator for longer than two days, it’s ideal to store it in a freezer in order to prolong its shelf life.

The chicken that is raw can be kept on the shelf for as long as 9 months if kept at a temperature below 0°F. Once you reach the 9-month mark the chance of freezing burns increases significantly which can impact the flavor, texture, and high-quality of chicken.

A thing to keep in mind because freezers in the home are often opened and shut the temperature inside can change.

In order to guarantee the highest standard, it’s suggested to consume chicken that has been frozen in the space of 3 or 4 months.

These are step-by-step instructions for how to store your fresh chicken in the freezer:

  • Wrap every piece of bird in plastic wrap to reduce the risk of freezer burn.
  • Place the plastic-wrapped pieces of chicken into a freezer-safe bag. You could additionally wrap the chicken pieces in aluminum foil prior to placing them in the bag.
  • Make sure you squeeze all the air from the freezer-safe bag in order to extend the storage time of the chicken.
  • Mark the container the day prior to placing them in the fridge, so you are aware of how long it is safe to eat.

If you’ve got smaller pre-cut pieces of chicken like chicken chunks or strips, you might require a different approach, as it’d take too long to wrap say 20 portions of the chicken prior to freezing.

Here are step-by-step directions for how to store small, pre-cut pieces of poultry inside the freezer:

  • Place pieces of chicken on baking sheets lined with baking sheets so that they do not overlap or touch.
  • The baking tray should be placed in the freezer for 45 mins.
  • After the chicken has been frozen, place the pieces of chicken into a freezer-safe bag and place them in the freezer.

While it is an efficient way of keeping tiny chunks of chicken for longer durations flash-freezing may increase the chance of freezing burns and can result in the bird becoming dry.

If you own an air sealer, it could be beneficial to utilize it because it takes out all air around the chicken. It also stops freezing burns, which can prolong the life of your chicken and improve its quality.

It is recommended to freeze the chicken prior to sealing it with a vacuum to avoid negative bacterial growth and spread. It also helps seal the juices from the chicken to prevent them from getting trapped in the vacuum sealing process.

The chicken that is vacuum-sealed can be kept for up to five times longer than normal frozen chicken, and can last for about 2 months within the freezer!

This obviously depends on many factors like whether the chicken was fresh when it first came out of the bird when it was first sealed, and if the sealing was executed correctly or not.

How to Tell If Chicken Is Unsafe to eat

Raw chicken could, almost definitely, degrade and provide the ideal fertile soil for bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli.

It’s possible to see it go through a faster degradation after it has been removed from its container since the oxygen in it gets exposed which is a fuel source to promote the growth of bacteria.

In addition, bacteria are known to begin to grow when temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw chicken should not be kept on the counter in the kitchen instead, be kept in the freezer or refrigerator according to how quickly you’ll cook it.

At the end of the day, chicken is among those food items that you’d be hesitant to consume in the event of even the slightest hint it could be harmful because of the possibility of food-borne illness.

Here are a few easy methods to determine if the chicken isn’t safe to consume:

  • Check the date of its sell-by. You should use it within a couple of days beyond it and only be stored correctly.
  • Try it out. If it has a strange smell and is unpleasant, follow your gut and dispose of it before it destroys other food items too.
  • Examine the hue. If it is grey tones instead of that pink color, or shows evidence of visible mold, it’s not suitable for consumption.
  • Check the feel. If it begins to form an edgy, snot-like layer on the surface, it’s over its expiration date and should be removed.

If the chicken doesn’t pass any of the taste, smell, color, or sell-by dates tests, it’s better to discard it since it’s always better safer instead of regretting it.

Other Questions Asked

We’ve covered the length of time chicken can be used after the date it is sold and how to properly store it and what to do to tell whether it’s gone bad Here are a few more questions we think you may be asking:

How do you unfreeze a frozen chicken?

A key aspect to remember when thawing frozen poultry is that you keep the temperature under 40 degrees F since anything higher than that is considered to be a danger zone for the growth of bacteria.

The most effective method to ensure that your chicken is defrosted safely is to take the freezer bag out of the freezer to the refrigerator and leave it in there for a night to allow it to completely thaw.

You can also run cold water across the poultry until it’s completely thawed.

It is also possible to submerge the container in cold water but make sure that you change the temperature of the water every 30 mins so that it is cool enough. Do not use hot water since it could encourage the growth of bacteria.

If you’re needing to get your food in order then you can utilize the defrost feature on the microwave to defrost your chicken in a matter of 15 minutes.

Can you refreeze frozen chicken?

You are able to safely refreeze chicken if it was properly thawed and did not exceed 40 degrees F and do not give bacteria the opportunity to multiply.

But, as this isn’t a simple thing to verify, the majority of people would rather not refreeze previously thawed chicken.

Furthermore, in addition, the continual freezing and thawing processes can result in the dehydration of the chicken and impact the taste and quality of the chicken.

How do I determine the safe cooking temperature of chicken?

Since chicken that is cooked raw can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and cause you to become sick, it’s crucial for you to prepare your poultry in a safe manner.

The USDA suggests cooking the whole chicken as well as parts of it, including legs, breasts, and wings to the temperature of 165 degrees F.

If you bake at the stove, you’ll need to set the oven’s temperature between 350 deg and 450 deg in order to achieve the correct temperature for the internal oven.

The most efficient method of determining the temperature of your chicken is to place a meat thermometer into the middle or most thick part of the chicken to take a read.

This is not just a way to ensure the chicken has been cooked perfectly but also reduces the chance of a possible bacterial trap.

In the end, nobody enjoys eating a piece of chicken only to realize midway through that the inside is cool, and the outside is a discolored pinkish-purple.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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