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Raw Chicken in the Fridge

Updated on February 11, 2011

Raw Chicken in the Fridge

So you have some raw chicken in the fridge? You’re probably wondering how long it is safe to keep this fresh chicken in the fridge before you should either freeze it or eat it. It’s a common question, and being a chicken aficionado myself I felt it was definitely something to investigate. I may love chicken, but I’m certainly not a fan of salmonella!

You have probably received all sorts of responses to this question, and the problem is there are a lot of variables to consider. Things such as how long ago the chicken was slaughtered, how long it has been ‘fresh’ at the place that you purchased from, and your refrigerator settings all play their part.

But as a general rule of thumb, let us refer to the FDA (Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) website, they state that:

“Raw chicken usually last 1 -2 days in the refrigerator.”

So raw chicken in the fridge can only be stored for 1 – 2 days. Any longer then 2 days it should be thrown out. So ensure you either cook and eat the raw chicken or freeze it before this time period has expired.

You cannot just store it in the fridge, and eat it next week. Food safety is truly not a joke, just because you “think it is okay” after storing it for a week, don’t risk it. Just prepare your shopping and fridge appropriately so that you’re either eating it that day or the next, or plan on freezing it.

I will often buy chicken and immediately freeze it that day, unless I am 100% sure that I will be eating it THAT NIGHT.

Irrelevant of the 1 – 2 days or ‘best of’ dates – if it is smelly or looks funny, get rid of it!

There is a golden rule that many follow when it comes to raw meat:

“If in doubt, throw it out.”

I don’t mean to spread fear when it comes to raw chicken, but I am sure you have heard some horror stories of food poisoning. If you follow the rules above, you significantly reduce the chance of this happening to you or your family!

Respect the chicken and you can continue to eat it safely for years to come.

Raw Chicken Breast
Raw Chicken Breast


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    • profile image

      Bernard Delaney 3 years ago

      Will a chicken be safe to eat after 3 days in the fridge.

    • profile image

      Junkyard Willy 3 years ago

      I thought the longer you age chicken in the refridgerizer, the better flavor you get. That aint tru?

    • tomsum profile image

      tomsum 6 years ago from Australia

      @Donnacha - Hi there! It really is an important subject, salmonella is never fun :( Thanks a lot for your comment!

    • Donnacha C profile image

      Donnacha C 6 years ago from Ennis, Co Clare, Republic of Ireland

      My personal standings on the issue: if the packet is open any unsused bits should go in the freezer, just to be sure Good article and this subject is more important than people would give credit for.