Can you eat chicken 2 days after the use-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you eat chicken 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat a chicken that is past the use-by date. 

Can you eat chicken 2 days after the use-by date?

The use-by date refers to the date that is marked on the packaging of the perishable food commodities and it refers to the time by which you should consume that food.

According to USDA, you should consume your chicken before the use-by date but whether or not you are going to eat a properly stored chicken (stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time) that is 2 days past the use-by date mainly depends upon your decision (you should do a sensory evaluation of chicken).  

Moreover, when it comes to the use-by date then you can use the chicken that is past this date provided that it was already stored properly in the freezer (before the use-by date).

Moreover, the way you have stored your chicken also impacts whether or not it is still safe to consume. For instance, if your chicken was stored for more than 2 hours at room temperature (or more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) then it is better to discard it as bacteria grow best at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and there are chances of your chicken to be already bacteria-laden in this case.

On the other hand, the chicken that is properly refrigerated the whole time at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below can be suitable to consume within 2 days after purchase provided that there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.

It is worth mentioning that cooking prolongs the shelf life of the chicken for a couple of days. On the other hand, if you want to preserve the quality of your chicken for quite a while then it is better to store it in the freezer properly.

Ways to spot the bad chicken

Certain indicators point out bad chicken, therefore you should consider the color, texture, and smell of your chicken to reach a final verdict whether it is still suitable to consume or if it has gone bad.

Color 

If you can notice that the color of the chicken has changed to grey-green then it is the indication that your chicken is past its prime time.

Texture 

If you feel something slimy or gooey while touching the chicken then it means that your chicken has gone bad and it is better to discard it. 

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the chicken won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rather rinsing the bacteria-laden chicken will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the chicken that has gone bad.

It is worth mentioning that you should wash your hands thoroughly after touching the bacteria-laden chicken or else the bacteria will transfer from your hands to any other thing that comes in contact with your hands.

Smell 

If you smell something acidic or sour while taking a sniff test of your chicken then it means that your chicken has gone bad and you should discard it.  

Thus, you should consider the points discussed above while deciding whether or not you are going to devour a chicken that is 2 days past the use-by date.

Health implications of eating bad chicken

Eating a bad chicken is associated with food poisoning owing to the presence of E.coli, Campylobacter, or Salmonella on the chicken. 

Chicken if on one hand is a rich source of protein, on the other hand, it is also a highly perishable commodity that can be attacked by bacteria quickly which can degrade its quality.

So if due to any reason, bacteria somehow found their way to your chicken and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard it.

The most common case that you can see regarding the consumption of bad chicken is the incidence of food poisoning. 

As the chicken belongs to the meat group that is a highly perishable food commodity and can have E.coli or Salmonella present in it which can cause food poisoning which is characterized by abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Therefore you should immediately take medical help and try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

You can read more about chicken and food poisoning here.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

Can you put chicken in the fridge after defrosting it?

How to know if chicken is spoiled

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you eat chicken 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat a chicken that is past the use-by date. 

Citations

https://oureverydaylife.com/safe-cook-chicken-2-days-after-expiration-date-35897.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/17/use-by-dates-on-food

https://www.insider.com/how-to-tell-if-chicken-is-bad-2019-5

https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-long-is-chicken-good-for-after-the-sell-by-date/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.