How long can you have chicken in the fridge

How long can you have chicken in the fridge

Ever found yourself wondering just how long you can keep cooked chicken in the fridge before you need to toss it out? You’re not alone. Fortunately, you can keep it on the safe side and follow some basic guidelines for safe storage. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into all you need to know about storing cooked chicken in the fridge and how you can make sure it’s safe to eat.

1. Storing Chicken Safely: How Long Is Too Long?

Chicken is an essential part of many dishes and an important source of protein for many households. But, it’s important to store chicken safely in order to ensure the poultry stays safe to consume. So, how long can you store chicken safely in the refrigerator? Generally, raw chicken should be kept for 1-2 days while cooked chicken should be stored for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

2. Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Chicken in the Refrigerator

Generally, chicken will remain safe in the refrigerator for 1-2 days for raw chicken and 3-4 days for cooked chicken. However, there are certain factors that can impact the lifespan of chicken in the refrigerator. These include:

  • The temperature of the refrigerator
  • The quality of the chicken before storage
  • The size and shape of the container used for storage

It’s important to take these factors into account when storing poultry in order to maximize the shelf-life of the chicken.

3. Staying Safe: Tips For Knowing When Chicken Has Gone Bad

There are certain signs you should look out for to determine whether chicken has gone bad. First and foremost is the smell: bad chicken has a distinct rotten odor. Additionally, the texture of the chicken might be slimy and there may be changes to the color of the chicken.
If you suspect that the chicken is no longer safe to consume, it’s best to discard it immediately as it can cause food-borne illness.

4. Reheating Leftover Chicken: Does It Make It Safe Again?

Reheating cooked chicken does not necessarily make it safe to consume again. If it was stored for more than three days or not stored correctly then reheating won’t help. This is because bacteria can grow on cooked chicken and reheating doesn’t always reach high enough temperatures to eliminate the bacteria. Therefore, it’s best to avoid reheating cooked chicken if it has been stored for longer than three days and discard it immediately.

5. Preparing to Store Chicken: The Key to Keeping It Fresh for Longer

If you’re looking to store chicken safely for a longer period of time, preparation is key. It is important to cook raw chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill off any harmful bacteria. You should also purchase fresh and quality chicken and store it in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
For storing raw chicken, use airtight containers for the best protection against bacteria growth. If you’re preparing cooked chicken for storage, use aluminum foil or an airtight plastic wrap for extra protection against bacteria. Finally, it’s important to label the chicken with the date that it was prepared and monitor the length of time it spends in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long is it safe to keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator?
A: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooked chicken is safe in the refrigerator for up to four days. It’s important to note that improper storage can lead to foodborne illnesses, so make sure to keep cooked chicken covered and in the refrigerator.

Q: What should I do with chicken leftovers?
A: Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or can be frozen for up to four months. If you plan to freeze the chicken, make sure to wrap it tightly in airtight packaging before placing it in the freezer.

Q: Can I keep cooked chicken in the fridge for a longer period of time?
A: Unfortunately, it’s not safe to keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator for longer than four days. Your best bet is to freeze it if you don’t think you’ll be able to consume it within four days.

In Conclusion

We hope this article has answered all your questions about storing chicken in the refrigerator. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to use your judgement for food safety and make sure your chicken is at the perfect temperature before consuming. Keep your food refrigerated and enjoy the deliciousness of chicken any time.
Chicken is a versatile form of protein and a common staple of many families’ diets. When properly stored, it can stay safe to eat for a few days or even weeks. Read on to learn how long you can keep chicken in the refrigerator.

Uncooked Chicken

Typically, you can store uncooked chicken in the fridge for up to two days. If you’re buying pre-packaged chicken, check the expiration date on the package for an indication of how fresh it is. Uncooked chicken should appear pink and moist — avoid purchasing pieces that have a grayish hue or seem dried out.

When storing uncooked chicken in the fridge, store it in an air-tight container or covered dish. If you’re planning to use the chicken within a day or two, you can store it at the bottom of your fridge, where it’s the coldest. Otherwise, store the chicken up higher to prevent cross-contamination.

Cooked Chicken

Cooked chicken can last in the fridge for up to four days. Just like with uncooked chicken, make sure to store cooked chicken in an air-tight container or dish to maintain freshness. Additionally, make sure the container or dish is shallow enough to allow the refrigerator’s cold air to circulate around it. For optimal freshness, don’t let cooked chicken sit in the fridge for longer than four days.

Freezing Chicken

You can store pre-packaged, uncooked chicken in the freezer for up to two months. If you’re planning to store it for longer than two months, consider double-wrapping it in freezer paper or aluminum foil to keep it safe from freezer burn. You can also store cooked chicken in the freezer for up to four months, though it’s best to enjoy it within two months for the best flavor and texture.


Chicken is a great source of protein, but it doesn’t last forever. When it comes to the refrigerator, uncooked chicken can last for up to two days and cooked chicken for up to four days. You can also freeze chicken for up to two months — consider double-wrapping chicken to keep it safe from freezer burn. Ultimately, there are many great ways to use chicken, as long as you store it safely.



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