It happens to us all: We hit the grocery store over the weekend with the best intentions to cook our way through the week, but the week gets the best of us. We're left with half-empty containers of milk and packages of raw chicken that we can't get to. Just how long do we have until they're spoiled? In terms of that raw chicken, here's how long you actually have.
How Long Will Raw Chicken Stay Good in the Fridge?
According to the USDA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, raw chicken (regardless of if it's whole; in pieces such as breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings; or ground) should be stored for no longer than one to two days in the refrigerator. If the chicken was previously frozen, this timeline goes into effect after the meat is fully defrosted.
Raw chicken keeps for no more than one to two days in the fridge.
If you're unsure whether you'll get to cooking that raw chicken before this timeline is up, your best bet is to freeze it.
How to Tell if Raw Chicken Is Spoiled
While this timeline is quite reliable, it's still smart to use your senses to detect if the chicken you're about to cook is safe and not spoiled. First, if the "best by" date on the package is long gone, it's likely not safe to consume. If it smells foul and pungent, has a grayish hue, and/or has a slimy texture, it has most definitely gone bad and should be tossed.