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How to Tell if Chicken has Gone Bad

 
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Tell if Chicken has Gone Bad

Chicken is one of the most popular foods among adults and children. There are so many parts to a chicken that it is much more affordable to buy a whole chicken to last for the week. The breasts can be used to make chicken nuggets, the wings for some football season barbecue wings and the legs for some honey mustard drumsticks. Chicken must be cooked thoroughly to avoid a salmonella infection, but prevention starts right from the moment you buy the chicken and so you might want to learn how to avoid buying meat that is spoiled.

In this OneHowTo article we explain how to tell if chicken has gone bad.

You may also be interested in: How To Tell If Meat Is Spoiled

Raw chicken

Chicken must be cooked thoroughly to avoid food poisoning, but if your chicken is bad in the first place it is highly likely that after eating you may suffer from stomach discomfort. To identify raw chicken that has gone bad, the first step is to check the due date on the package. If you are within the expiration date, but still unsure there are other sings that you can look for. Eating chicken past the expiration date is not recommended

If you are still unsure whether it is safe to cook your chicken, use your senses. First, smell the chicken. Notice if it smells rancid, strong and bitter. Look at the color. If it is turning gray or blue that is a bad sign. Finally, touch it and notice it appears to be slimy and rubbery. All of these are signs that your chicken may have gone bad.

How to Tell if Chicken has Gone Bad - Raw chicken

Home-cooked chicken

Sometimes it is much easier and efficient to cook large batches of food in advance. However, the longer the food is stored in the fridge waiting to be eaten, the higher the chances that it starts getting bad. Cooked chicken stored in the fridge will last up to 3 days before it starts to rot.

When you open the container, notice the smell. If you smell the spices and oils you used to cook your chicken, that is normal. Maybe, make a slice on the top and have a peek inside to see if the chicken has turned gray or very dark brown. Notice if there are any sings of mold. If you decide to taste it do so before you heat it to avoid spreading any harmful organism that could be in the food.

Restaurant cooked chicken

When you decide to go out to eat you might expect to be served high quality food that is highly palatable and safe. However, most food poisoning cases occur from food eaten outside of the house. To avoid food poisoning, research the store or restaurant in advance and read over some past customer reviews. Many restaurants will show their menus on their websites. Generally, the smaller the number of items on the menu, the freshest the ingredients tend to be.

Again, have a quick look at your dish once served for any signs that the chicken may have been lying around in the kitchen for quite some time.

How to Tell if Chicken has Gone Bad - Restaurant cooked chicken

Frozen chicken

A major advantage of buying frozen chicken is that it can be stored for longer while offering a quick solution for a simple weeknight dinner. However, the main concern with frozen chicken is the thawing process. The best way to thaw frozen chicken is by leaving it to defrost overnight in the fridge preferably in a cold water. Leaving the chicken to defrost on the kitchen counter or thawing it in a warm water bath promotes the proliferation of harmful bacteria. To avoid it turning bad it must then be cooked as soon as possible.

How to Tell if Chicken has Gone Bad - Frozen chicken

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