How Long Is Chicken Good For In The Freezer After Sell By Date?

How Long Is Chicken Good For In The Freezer After Sell By Date

We often purchase meat varieties in bulk to serve us longer, but how long is chicken good for in the freezer after sell by date? Most ask this question because nobody wants to risk their health — after all, better safe than sorry. 

Like other meat varieties, chicken is a perishable food that goes bad quickly if not preserved appropriately. Preservation methods include refrigeration and freezing, but many questions have arisen about these methods. 

So this post will answer all your chicken questions — from how long your chicken will be good for in the freezer after expiration to other related questions about food preservation and safety, so let’s dive in. 

Keep entire raw chicken in your freezer for up to a year, pieces for nine months, and ground chicken or giblets for three to four months for the most outstanding quality, flavor, and texture.

For the best-tasting cooked chicken, store for up to four months. You can also freeze prepared poultry pieces and casseroles coated in gravy or broth for up to six months and chicken patties or nuggets for up to three months.

How Long Does Raw Chicken Last When Refrigerated?

Raw chicken remains safe to consume for up to two days when refrigerated. The raw chicken lasts one to two days in the refrigerator, whole or divided into pieces (such as thighs, breasts, wings, and drumsticks).

How Long Is Frozen Chicken Good For?

Frozen chicken is safe to consume for indefinite periods after freezing. However, its texture and flavor deteriorate the longer the chicken is kept frozen.

For the best flavor, you can save an entire chicken for up to a year and raw chicken parts in a freezer for approximately nine months. However, you can keep cooked chicken for two to six months.

How Good Is Chicken Breast For The Use By Date?

How long your chicken keeps after the sell-by date depends on how well you preserve it. If you stored the chicken at room temperature, it probably isn’t safe to consume

But even if the sell-by date has passed during refrigeration, raw chicken, including the wings, pieces, and breasts, will remain edible for up to two days in a refrigerator after purchasing them — as long as they are kept consistently below 40 degrees Fahrenheit

When frozen, whole chicken and pieces remain safe for consumption indefinitely, but they gradually lose their flavor and texture. 

How Long Is Chicken Good For In The Freezer After Sell By Date

Is It Safe To Eat Frozen Chicken That Is Past Its Sell-By Date?

Yes, it is usually safe to consume frozen chicken even after the sell-by date passes because freezing chicken makes all the active bacteria in the chicken dormant. The chicken can therefore remain safe to consume as long as there is no bacterial multiplication

It doesn’t matter whether package dates are over their expiration date after freezing chicken because it may be maintained continually frozen and remain safe permanently. This means you can store your raw chicken in the freezer for up to a year. And finally, you can store pieces for up to nine months and ground chicken or giblets for up to four months. 

Can I Still Cook An Expired Frozen Chicken?

Yes, you can cook an expired frozen chicken if you had frozen it before its best-by date. Frozen chicken is safe to consume even after its expiry date because freezing preserves food indefinitely

However, ensure to consume the chicken within nine months to get the best flavor and texture. 

Which Is The Right Way To Properly Store Chicken In Your Freezer?

Use an appropriate storage technique when storing chicken in the freezer. Wrap the chicken twice in foil and plastic wrap for longer-term preservation, then put it in the freezer.

When handling raw chicken, there are a few strict guidelines you should never break. A maximum of two hours should pass before removing raw chicken from the refrigerator, and you must store any leftover raw chicken immediately.

Bacteria are more likely to start multiplying on raw chicken the longer it is subjected to room temperature. After handling raw meat, wash your hands and the surrounding area.

The ideal method for the long-term preservation of raw chicken after opening is freezing. Still, there are several concerns to be aware of, with the primary concern being freezer burn.

When chicken becomes dehydrated after exposure to air, it gets freezer burn. Ice crystals have likely developed on your meal previously, or the chicken may have lost its color, resulting from freezer burn. 

Freezer-burned food is not hazardous, but its flavor and texture tend to suffer.

The following are detailed methods for freezing raw chicken:

  1. Cover each raw chicken piece with plastic wrap. The most frequent cause of freezer burn is when air can enter the container. This is why you must ensure that you have wrapped the chicken securely.
  2. Put the pieces in a freezer bag once they have been wrapped in plastic, or you can rewrap them in foil before putting them in the bag and removing air from the freezer bag.
  3. Before placing the chicken in the freezer, mark the bag with the date. Doing this enables you to determine the chicken’s exact time in the freezer.

You should freeze chicken strips or bits slightly differently — nobody has time to plastic wrap 20 separate chicken pieces.

  1. Lay the pre-cut chicken on a baking sheet. Ensure that it is not touching.  
  2. Place this baking sheet in the freezer for 3/4 an hour.
  3. When the chicken is frozen, place each piece in a bigger bag.

Take out as much of the chicken as you require instead of defrosting the entire lot, thanks to this effective space-saving method. Another plus is the fact that the chicken won’t cling together. However, there is a greater chance of freezer burn with flash freezing.

If you have one, freeze chicken is the best application for your vacuum sealer.  Your chicken will last longer if you vacuum seal it since the air is entirely removed. It also protects it from freezer burn.

Before vacuum sealing your chicken, it’s essential to pre-freeze it to seal in the fluids. It also prevents them from being drawn out when sealing and guarantees that any hazardous bacteria that may already be present remains dormant.

Chicken that has been vacuum sealed can survive up to five times longer than chicken that hasn’t been sealed, although this depends on factors such as how fresh the meat was when you initially sealed it. The majority of vacuum-sealed chicken may be frozen for two to three years.

How Long Is Chicken Good For In The Freezer After Sell By Date

How Do You Properly Defrost Chicken?

Numerous thawing techniques exist today. The one you use depends on how much time you have. 

Never thaw frozen chicken on the counter in the kitchen. Try any of these techniques to defrost frozen chicken instead.

Move your frozen chicken to the refrigerator to safely thaw frozen raw chicken (put the package in a rimmed bowl or container to catch all the drips). Thaw for 24 hours, so plan and include defrosting time in your dinner preparation. The time required varies based on the size of the pieces.

Defrost your chicken the same day using the cold-water approach if you have two or three hours to spare. Put the frozen chicken in an airtight plastic bag – whether wrapped or unwrapped – and dunk it in a big bowl of cold water. 

The chicken is sealed so that it does not touch the water. Swap out the water in 30-minute intervals until thoroughly defrosted.

Although using a microwave to defrost your chicken may be the fastest method, it is not always the best. Because hot spots often form when food is microwaved, your raw chicken can be partially thawed and partially frozen in different places. 

Cook it right away after microwave thawing, and only refreeze it once it’s through cooking.

Can Eating Bad Chicken Cause Food Poisoning

Yes, you can get food poisoning when you eat bad chicken. Some symptoms you might experience include diarrhea, nausea, cramping, vomiting, headaches, abdominal pains, light-headedness, sweating, fatigue, fever, flatulence, gagging, loss of appetite, and indigestion.

The symptoms can be fatal if not adequately addressed. Get help from a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms outlined. 

How Can You Tell When Chicken Goes Bad?

You can tell when the chicken has spoiled if it has a slimy texture, an unpleasant odor, or has become gray or yellow. Any chicken past the best-by date that has been refrigerated for over four days if cooked and two days if raw, or has spent more than 2 hours in the danger zone should be thrown away.

Bottom Line

Numerous factors will determine how long your chicken lasts in the freezer. Therefore, it is essential to follow the proper preservation methods to extend the shelf-life of your chicken, whether cooked or raw. 

Denzil Otieno

Denzil is a freelance content marketer with an eye for detail and a knack for making even the driest of topics interesting. He's worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, but he's not one to rest on his laurels - he's always looking for new challenges and ways to improve his skills. In his spare time, Denzil enjoys reading (especially anything by Terry Pratchett), watching films (he has a soft spot for 80s action movies) and spending time with his wife and two cats.

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