How Long Can Packaged Chicken Stay In The Fridge?
Packaged uncooked chicken (raw) will last in the fridge for up to one to two days. To extend this shelf life, store it in the freezer. For cooked packaged chicken, you can only store it for three to four days in the fridge. To extend the shelf life of this too, store it in the freezer.
Cooked chicken can keep for three or four days in the fridge when properly stored (in a zipper-lock bag or another tight-sealed container), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cooked chicken, meanwhile, may last for three to four days in the fridge and for four to six months in the freezer. In contrast, cooked chicken should be fine to keep up to two weeks, provided that it is sealed properly and kept in the refrigerator. This estimate is for cooked chicken, which typically would last for only three or four days in the refrigerator unless stored in a vacuum sealed container.
Raw chicken that is sealed in the vacuum will typically last for just about three or four days, while cooked chicken should last for as long as fourteen days. Raw vacuum sealed chicken does not last that long, and it should be used up in approximately four to five days at most. Because raw chicken has such a short shelf life, you only get about one or two days out of it by vacuum sealing it, without cooking.
|Chicken meat||In the refrigerator (32-34°F)||In the freezer (0°F)|
|Cooked chicken||3-4 days||4-6 months|
|Vacuum sealed raw chicken||4-5 days||9-12 months|
|Raw chicken||1-2 days||9 months|
|Thawed chicken||1-2 days||6-9 months|
If you keep it frozen in a sealed, freezer-safe container or vacuum sealed package, it should remain safe for thawing and eating for up to 9 months, in pieces, or up to 12 months, for the whole chicken. The USDA says that you can keep a whole, uncooked chicken in your freezer up to one year (or, if you are storing chops, up to nine months) and it should still be good to eat. If you do not want to cook it immediately, you can keep uncooked chicken (either whole or chopped) in your fridge for up to 12 days.
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Place chicken in a sealed container, or wrap the chicken in plastic wrap, or even place in a freezer-safe bag. On the day you plan on eating chicken, take chicken out of the freezer and place in the fridge in the first part of the morning. Just be sure to move frozen chicken out of the freezer into the fridge at least one day before cooking.
If the frozen chicken is defrosted in the refrigerator, defrosted chicken can stay frozen in the refrigerator for another 1 -2 days before cooking. If chicken is still really fresh when the chicken is frozen, and you are defrosting using the fridge method, it should keep 3-4 days.
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If the chicken was frozen, put directly from freezer into fridge and let stay there one to two days before defrosting. Be sure to freeze only enough of the chicken that will serve one meal, so it can be cooked once it is thawed.
Remember, you can always put raw chicken or cooked chicken into the freezer, preventing you from losing the chicken in your refrigerator. To avoid leaving it outside, whether it is raw or cooked, chicken should always be kept in your fridge or freezer, rather than sitting out on the counter.
If the chicken has been in the refrigerator for several days before being frozen, or you have defrosted it in a cold water bath, then you will want to prepare it right away. If you thawed your chicken thawed in cold water or the microwave, or if it was a few days old when it went into the freezer, you should cook it as soon as it is ready. You should allow any remaining chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then cook it until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees F.
Once you have opened your vacuum sealed chicken packages, you are advised to store your remaining chicken in a sealed airtight container or in plastic ziploc bags in order to maintain its freshness. When vacuum-sealed, the chicken stays fresh longer and retains its quality compared to storing without packaging.
The primary purpose of vacuum packing/sealing is to prolong the shelf life of a stored food, in this case, chicken. As we know, meat is a very perishable product, therefore, vacuum packing actually increases the shelf life of the chicken, and other meat products, by stopping the exposure of them to the air. Beware that vacuum sealing entire chickens may pose problems as there might still be air in the chest cavity of the chicken, even after using the sealing machine.
It is best to store your vacuum sealed chickens on one of the shelves in the refrigerator, not on the doors, because temperatures can be very variable on the refrigerator doors. Bacterial growth occurs at a faster rate in temperatures ranging from 40degF to 140degF, so it is always recommended that you keep your vacuum-sealed chicken at a lower temperature in order to maintain its freshness and quality longer.
Freshness depends on storage temperature, the temperature outside of your refrigerator, how long it has been in your fridge, and how long you keep fresh-frozen chicken in a defrosted state before placing it back into your fridge. Chicken does not spoil after one to two months, but you may want to put your vacuum-sealed chicken into the refrigerator after a month; this is important, as refrigeration of the chicken slows down meat drying, which could leave it too dry if left at room temperature too long. Cooked chicken that is been vacuum-sealed will keep for a couple weeks in the refrigerator before starting to go bad, as it is harder for bacteria to grow in the sealed environment.
The chicken itself will remain fresh longer, but the vacuum does not impact the chicken the way other foods, such as salads and pasta, do. You can also pull chicken from its package and move to a freezer-safe bag, pushing out as much air as you can before sealing the bag.
While unpacked chicken (which we buy whole or chopped up in pieces from a butcher shop) may last for three days, you are best served with no more than two days. The safer option is to defrost and cook the chicken, create a tasty meal, and then freeze whatever is left for another day. The USDA says that you can keep uncooked chicken in the fridge one to two days after you buy it.
How long is vacuum-sealed chicken good for?
However, because anaerobic bacteria can develop at temperatures above 3°F, vacuum sealing cannot increase the shelf life of meats in the refrigerator. A vacuum-sealed chicken in the pantry has a typical shelf life of three to four months when kept at room temperature. It can be stored in the freezer for roughly eight months.
How long can an unopened package of chicken last in the fridge?
A vacuum-sealed chicken can typically be stored for three to ten days or even up to two weeks in the refrigerator. But the shelf life of something depends on a number of things. Since chicken meat is quite perishable, keeping a vacuum-sealed chicken in the refrigerator might only be a temporary solution.
Can I eat chicken that’s been in the fridge for a week?
While cooked chicken lasts 3–4 days in the fridge, raw chicken only lasts 1-2 days. Check the “best if used by” date and keep an eye out for spoiled food indicators including smell, texture, and color changes to determine if the chicken has gone bad. Even if you thoroughly cook the chicken, you should avoid eating it if it has gone bad.