Has Your Chicken Gone Bad?
By Sara Butler
It's a common issue: You buy chicken at the store for a recipe, then by the time you get ready to use it you're not sure if it's good or not. If this sounds familiar, then you're not alone. It's important to be mindful of whether the chicken you want to eat is good or not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 million Americans each year get sick from the food they eat. Chicken, in particular, can carry salmonella that can make you sick.
To help you avoid this fate, here are a few tell-tale signs to help you know whether the chicken in your fridge is good or if you need to toss it out.
The Signs of Bad Chicken
There are a few ways you can easily and immediately tell if your chicken isn't safe to eat. They are:
- Color - Raw chicken that is fresh should be a fleshy, pink color. When it starts to spoil it often fades to a different color, more of a gray. When the pink color of the chicken starts to fade, use the chicken ASAP.
- Smell- Your nose is another way to tell if the meat has gone bad. Spoiled raw chicken will have a bad odor, almost a sour smell. If your chicken has any sort of odor to it, toss it out because chances are it's not good.
- Feel - It's natural for the chicken to have a slimy, glossy feel. But if you rinse the chicken and the slime stays, then the chicken isn't good anymore.
Do You Have to Throw It Out?
The expiration date on the package tells you when you should eat the chicken by, but is that date flexible? While it may be good past the date on the package, you're best to be safe and throw it out. Don't put yourself at unnecessary risk of getting sick.
What About Cooked Chicken?
All the raw chicken bases have been covered, but what about cooked leftovers in your refrigerator? The USDA states that cooked chicken should be safe for three to four days after you cook it -- as long as it's stored properly, that is.
Cooked chicken will give off a foul odor when it's no longer good to use and, like raw chicken, begin to go gray too. Trust your senses and throw out chicken if you're not sure.
Enjoy your chicken, but make sure it's safe to eat first by utilizing these tips!
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