How to Tell if Chicken is Bad: I got a text from a friend asking for information on what to do with a bunch of chicken she forgot in the refrigerator. Was it okay to cook for the family, or was it better to throw it?
Chicken is versatile, healthy food that is a diet staple for several households. But like many meat and poultry products, poultry can spoil. This can affect its taste and texture, and in some cases, make you sick.
That’s why it’s important to understand how to tell whether chicken has gone bad. Luckily, you can search for certain suggestions to be sure you’re eating chicken that’s safe to eat. These include looking for paying attention to funky smells, gray spots, feeling for slimy meat, and remembering when you bought the chicken.
Argyris Magoulas, a specialist at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, spoke to YIM about when chicken is safe to cook and when it is spoiled.
This report can help you learn how to tell whether chicken has gone bad.
Tips about, How to Tell if Chicken is Bad?
Sometimes it’s clear when chicken is not any good to eat, but more often, that is not the case, and it takes a little more detective work to figure it out. The best approach is a combination of knowing how long the chicken has been in the refrigerator and relying on your perceptions for cues. Here are some ways to Tell When Chicken Has Gone Bad!
Based on whether you have raw or cooked chicken, there are a couple of essential things to note regarding its physical appearance and color.
One of the greatest ways to tell if an uncooked chicken has gone bad is by looking at it and paying attention to the color of the meat. When uncooked chicken meat is excellent for consumption, it should be light pink, with all the fat parts being whitened. If we notice that the meat looks gray and the fatty components display yellow spots, this isn’t good. This coloring means that the chicken is bad, so we should throw it away instantly.
A. Raw Chicken
Before preparing chicken, it is important to check its look for signs of spoilage.
Raw chicken should have a pale pink color with white fatty bits. If the color is gray or green or if the fat is yellowish, this can be a sign of spoilage, and you should discard the chicken.
For example, you may observe a slight darkening or fading of the pink flesh, a normal outcome of oxymyoglobin, a red protein and pigment, turning into metmyoglobin after being subjected to oxygen.
Though not always a sign of spoilage, this can indicate that the chicken is not as fresh. As long as the chicken is securely kept in the fridge or freezer, gentle color changes are ordinary.
A. Raw Chicken
Cooked chicken should be white, without the pink parts of the flesh. Pink flesh is a sign of undercooked chicken.
If you are storing chicken as leftovers, be certain to keep it in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or less, in a sealed container for a max of 3 days.
And be sure to put it directly in the fridge after cooking — chicken might spoil if left out in the danger zone of 40°F (4°C) into 140°F (60°C) for over a couple of hours.
This is a temperature range in which bacteria grows exponentially and increases the risk for foodborne illness.
If you discover any visible signs of mold growth or color changes between the time you put the chicken in the refrigerate and if you would like to eat it, then throw it away.
It can be difficult to spot mold or color changes if there are any seasonings or dressings on the chicken. That is why you need to eat the chicken within three days of cooking.
2. Funky Smell
The raw, fresh chicken will have a very mild odor or none at all. If your chicken has an extremely apparent smell, including a sour or sulfur-like smell like rotten eggs, then throw it out.
However, you should never rely on odor alone to determine if the chicken is safe to eat. People’s sense of smell may fluctuate, so not everybody will observe a change in the odor of chicken. So, look out for other signs of spoilage as well.
As with several things in existence, the odor test is also a helpful tool to gain insight into if the chicken has gone bad. Do recall that chicken is not odor-free, but it should never look pungent or very foul. When it has a powerful or sour odor, it is no good.
3. Feel (Texture)
If we don’t notice any change of colors or strange scents, we need to feel that the meat.
Fresh raw chicken has a shiny, somewhat soft feel.
It shouldn’t be slimy, sticky, or tacky. If your hands possess a slimy residue on these after touching raw chicken, this is a sign it has gone bad.
Cooked chicken is drier than uncooked chicken. Suppose you become aware of any feel changes, such as improved softness, sliminess, stickiness, or residue. In that case, it’s likely no safer to eat.
If it feels like there is a layer of something over the chicken, which seems especially sticky and thick, it is best not to use it.
4. Expiry Date
Along with clear signs of spoilage, it is important to examine the expiration date and consider when you purchased the chicken.
First, always look at the expiration date before purchasing chicken.
It’s very important to keep in mind exactly when you purchased the chicken. This is a straightforward method to tell if the uncooked chicken has gone bad. Bear in mind that we’re able to leave chicken meat from the refrigerator no longer than four days. Additionally, we could maintain poultry in our freezer for four weeks. If we have experienced the chicken for more than that, we ought to throw it off. Otherwise, it will cause food poisoning.
Suppose you plan to use chicken within 1-2 days. In that case, you can choose a package that is addressing its expiry date, which is usually available. If you are not going to use fresh chicken by its expiry date, it’s best to freeze it for later use.
In the freezer, chicken can last up to nine months, given it is tightly sealed. Before placing the chicken in the freezer, write the order date on the package to keep track.
If you’ve already cooked the chicken, you have to eat it in 3-4 days, and you should always keep it in the fridge.
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