How long can defrosted chicken stay in the fridge? Have you left your chicken to thaw in the fridge and you are wondering how long it is good for? If so, you are not alone. We have all been there before but today we are going to answer that question for you.
The answer to how long can defrosted chicken stay in the fridge really depends on how it was thawed. If it was thawed in the fridge, then the rule of the thumb is to keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days after it has completely thawed. Thawed cooked chicken can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To begin with, it is important to know that chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to two days after it has been completely thawed. However, this is only applicable if the chicken was thawed in the fridge. If you have thawed your chicken using any other method, then it needs to be cooked immediately. This is because thawing chicken in warm water or at room temperature can cause bacteria to grow on the chicken.
For chicken thawed in the microwave
If you thawed your chicken in the microwave, you should cook it immediately. You should not refreeze either as it can cause food poisoning.
What if my chicken was defrosted in water
If your chicken was thawed in water or on the countertop, you should cook it immediately. Once the chicken has been defrosted in water or at room temperature, it should not be refrozen as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause food poisoning.
PS: it is not recommended to thaw chicken at room temperature, the most a frozen chicken can sit out is 2 hours.
Can I refreeze thawed chicken
If you thawed the chicken in the fridge and it was not out of the fridge for more than 2 hours with little to no handling, you can refreeze it safely.
If it was thawed in the microwave or in cold water, then you cannot refreeze it as this can cause food poisoning.
When it comes to handling poultry, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Apart from the fact that bacteria quickly breed on poultry when left unattended, chicken is also susceptible to cross-contamination. Improper storage or handling may put the chicken in a danger zone. It can also result in a high chance that bacteria from the chicken will contaminate other surfaces and food in your kitchen.
Also, chicken that has been thawed and frozen more than once can sometimes have a slightly different texture and taste. If you are not sure if your chicken is still fresh or in a good state, it is always better to throw it out than risk food poisoning.
So, how can you tell if chicken has gone bad
There are a few telltale signs that your chicken has gone bad.
Check the packaging
First, check the expiration date on the package. If it has passed its 'use by' or 'best by date', don't use it. Secondly, check for any signs of leaks or punctures. If the packaging is damaged, do not use the chicken.
If you are still not sure if the chicken is good or bad, smell it.
Chicken that has gone bad will have a sour smell or smells off. If you are not sure, don't use it.
Raw or cooked chicken that has gone bad will also change color. If you see any discoloration, throw it out. Fresh chicken is pinkish in color, while bad chicken will have a greyish, greenish tint.
When raw chicken goes bad, it will also have a different texture. The meat will be slimy and slippery when touched.
If you see any of these signs, do not use the chicken, it is not worth the hassle just throw it out.
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