Can I eat cooked chicken 6 days old?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can I eat cooked chicken 6 days old?”, discuss a few ways to reheat chicken, and mention a few tips on how to properly store chicken. We will also mention some possible health implications of eating spoiled chicken.

Can I eat cooked chicken 6 days old?

No, you can not eat cooked chicken 6 days old. According to USDA guidelines, cooked chicken only lasts for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Unless it was in the freezer, in that case it can last for about 3-4 months.

Eating spoiled chicken can be very dangerous so if the chicken has been sitting in the fridge for too long, it is better to just throw it out.

How to reheat cooked chicken

Here are some ways to reheat cooked chicken that was stored in the fridge

In the microwave: You can always put the chicken in a microwave to reheat it. Make sure you cover it up to prevent it from drying out.

Oven: This is another efficient way to reheat the chicken. Place the chicken in an oven-safe plate or sheet pan and cover it with aluminum foil, and put it in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes to avoid overheating it.

Re-fry it: Yes you can re-fry cooked chicken in a pan with a bit of oil. The only thing to be careful of is to not burn it. Lightly fry it in a pan over a stove at medium to low heat.

Boil it: Another efficient way of saving time is to boil the chicken and then freeze it. Whenever needed, it can be cooked by using a variety of ingredients. This method also reduces the cooking time by half.

How to properly store cooked chicken

The key to making food last longer is to properly store it. Let’s have a look at some important points to keep in mind while storing cooked chicken:

  • Never leave chicken out for more than 2 hours after cooking it. If it stays out for too long, bacteria get time to multiply and overgrow. 
  • Make sure you let the chicken come back to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. 
  • Make small portions of the cooked chicken and place them in separate shallow bowls. This ensures even and quicker cooling.
  • Once the chicken has cooled down a bit, cover the containers with an airtight cover or saran wrap to completely seal them. Then put the containers in the fridge.
  • If you wish to make your food last longer, put it in the freezer in the same way. Smaller portions also make it easier to defrost the chicken without having to defrost the entire big portion.
  • Alternatively, cooked chicken can also be placed in ziplock bags for storage in the freezer. It will also save space inside the freezer.

What happens if you eat spoiled chicken?

There are some serious consequences of eating spoiled chicken. Sometimes it is easy to tell if the chicken has been spoiled just by looking at it or smelling it. Spoiled chicken may have a slimy or gooey texture. Mold can also be easily spotted as it has a greenish blue hue to it. Spoiled chicken would give off an offensive odor, much like rotten eggs.

Some pathogens however, do not affect the texture of chicken or even the smell, so a person may accidentally ingest them. To avoid this, it is best to throw out chicken after 3-4 days.

Some pathogens present in chicken are Escherichia Coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter Jejuni. These bacteria are notorious for causing food poisoning. Salmonella can also cause typhoid fever which requires a long antibiotic regimen.

Campylobacter J. can cause Guillain Barre syndrome. This is a syndrome in which there is ascending paralysis. If it is left untreated, it can lead to respiratory muscles paralysis and subsequent death. 

The common symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. A lot of vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and the patient may need to be hospitalized. The patient will also almost always have fever.

In addition to all of these symptoms, typhoid fever can also cause headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

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In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can I eat cooked chicken 6 days old?”, discussed a few ways to reheat chicken, and mentioned a few tips on how to properly store chicken. We also mentioned some possible health implications of eating spoiled chicken.