Chicken is a popular meal due to its versatility and flavor. Its different preparation methods have turned it into a type of meat that you cannot miss at home. However, storing raw chicken incorrectly could promote the growth of bacteria that are harmful to your health, capable of causing food poisoning.
Visit healthoverdosed.com/nutrition/how-long-chicken-last-fridge to understand how long cooked or raw chicken can last in the fridge. The following tips can guide you in buying and keeping refrigerated chicken in good condition.
During purchase, it is essential to check the temperature of the chicken. Ideally, it should be below five degrees Celsius. In case you buy in a local business, you should pay attention to the chicken’s appearance. If its color is pink, it is in good condition. If it has a grayish tone, even in some of its parts, it is best to buy another. Similarly, it is important that you do not accept the chicken if the meat is sticky or gives off an unusual smell.
If you smell acidic, don’t buy it. If you’re at the grocery store, leave the chicken until the end of your shopping spree to keep it fresh longer. Make sure the packaging is not leaking, otherwise it could contaminate other foods through the dripping of the juice. If possible, carry an extra airtight bag to keep it away from other products. If the trip home is too long, put the chicken in a cooler, especially in hot climates.
Once you get home, wrap the chicken in airtight packaging and store it on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to avoid contaminating the food underneath, especially if it is precooked or ready-to-serve food. Keep the temperature at 5 degrees Celsius or lower. If you aren’t cooking it right away, put it in the freezer. Make sure that the container that contains it is well closed so that it does not lose quality. In this case, the temperature should be kept at -15 degrees Celsius or less.
Never leave it at room temperature, as it promotes the growth of bacteria such as salmonella or listeria. The safest way to thaw raw chicken is to move it from the freezer to the refrigerator. A whole chicken will take between one and two days to thaw. If they are cut pieces, it will take between two to nine hours. Once this happens, cook it as soon as possible.
If you want to save yourself time, put the raw chicken in a closed plastic bag and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every half hour to keep the temperature low. Keep in mind that once you thaw it, it’s not safe to refreeze it.
You should also avoid rinsing raw chicken before cooking. Cook at internal temperatures of 74 degrees Celsius to eliminate bacteria.