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How To Tell if Raw Chicken Is Bad

How To Tell if Raw Chicken Is Bad

We’ve all had our share of food go bad. Trust me when I tell you, there’s nothing more frustrating than not realizing your main ingredient has gone bad until it is cooked.

It’s so disappointing when you realize your raw chicken is bad after you have been marinating it for more than an hour and have nothing else to cook for dinner.

However, all of this could have been avoided if you knew how to tell if raw chicken is bad.

How To Prevent Chicken Going Bad

Preventing chicken from going bad is pretty easy. Plan your chicken dishes before heading to the grocery store to purchase raw chicken in advance.

For example, if you plan to makeBBQ chicken legs, you probably use the chicken within a few days instead of letting the chicken sit in the back of the refrigerator.

When purchasing raw chicken, make sure you get it home as soon as possible and store it in the refrigerator.

It may be best to place your raw chicken into a cooler while you are at the store to maintain its temperature.

Do not wash your chicken. Although not washing chicken goes against the rules, it will increase your risk of contracting food poisoning.

Furthermore, washing chicken in the sink could spread bacteria onto your hands, workstation, cooking equipment, and clothing.

Whether it is cooked or raw chicken, do not allow it to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

If the room’s temperature is above 90 degrees, chicken can only be kept outside the refrigerator for an hour.

Leaving chicken at room temperature is like leaving a cast-iron skillet on a low flame. The longer the skillet sits on the stove, the warmer it gets.

In the same way, the warmer the chicken gets by sitting at room temperature, the more bacteria multiply rapidly.

How To Tell if Raw Chicken Is Bad

The truth is food poisoning can happen to anyone f you do not handle your raw chicken properly.

Although it is frustrating, you should discard spoiled chicken immediately, whether it is cooked or not.

Yes, you will be wasting money, but a few dollars can seem worth it when you are writhing in pain from food poisoning.

Fortunately, there are many ways to tell if raw chicken is bad.

Expiration Date

Even though it seems obvious, you can look at the chicken’s package to see if there is an expiration date.

When shopping for raw chicken, make sure it does not expire for at least 4-5 days. This will give you time to freeze the chicken if you do not plan to use it within 1-2 days.

Remember, chicken has a shelf life of 2 days in the refrigerator. So it may be best to freeze it.

Chicken has a lifespan of 4 months in the freezer. However, once the chicken is thawed, it has to be used within 2 days.


Inspecting the color of the chicken is one of the best ways to tell if your raw chicken has gone bad.

Raw chicken should be light pink in color, with white globules of fat.

However, if the raw chicken has a gray color with yellow fatty globs, it is time to toss it out. This is a clear indicator that the chicken is spoiled and is no longer good.


Most people don’t recognize our senses can let us know if raw chicken is bad.

Using your nose can tell you if your chicken has gone bad and prevent you from becoming sick.

If your nose picks up any odors that are not normal, your chicken is most likely spoiled.

In addition to this, pay special attention to diluted odors coming from the chicken.

If your chicken has a subtle sweet smell that is reminiscent of rotten eggs is bad and should be discarded.


Have you ever heard your hands are your best kitchen tools?

In this case, your hands can also be the best kitchen tools when trying to determine if your chicken is good or bad.

If your raw chicken does not have an odor or an off-color, the next best step is to touch the meat.

Good chicken should feel most. However, it feels slimy or sticky the chicken is spoiled.

Purchase Date

It seems difficult to remember since you cannot remember how long your raw chicken has been in the fridge or freezer. But it is an easy way to tell if your chicken has gone bad.

One easy way to do this is by writing the purchase date on the raw chicken.

Alternatively, you can create a purchase date template, print it out, and attach it to your fridge.

This way, you can easily write the purchase on your template instead of writing it on the chicken.

If your chicken has spent more than 2 days in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer, discard it.

How To Tell if Frozen Chicken Is Bad

One look at raw chicken, and you can tell if it’s bad or not. However, the same rules do not apply to frozen chicken.

It’s nearly impossible to tell if raw chicken is bad in its frozen state.

You must let the raw chicken thaw first before inspecting it for spoilage. Once your chicken has thawed completely, you can use the tips mentioned above to tell if your raw chicken is bad.

Final Thoughts

Chicken is one of the biggest suspects when it comes to food poisoning. No one wants to eat bad chicken.

You may end up with food poisoning, which can make you feel like the life has been knocked out of you.

Plus, there’s no bigger disappointment than pulling your chicken out of the fridge to find it’s spoiled and you don’t have a backup plan.

Luckily as long as you rely on your senses, touch, smell, and sight, along with remembering the purchase and expiration dates, you will know if your chicken has spoiled.

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