Can you get sick from eating expired chicken?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired chicken” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired chicken. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired chicken?

Chicken belongs to the meat group that is a highly perishable food commodity. Expired chicken or the chicken that has gone bad contains a lot of bacteria like Salmonella, E.coli, Campylobacter, or Clostridium perfringens which can result in food poisoning.

So if you have devoured chicken that has gone bad, it can result in food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, bloody stools, and dehydration.

It is worth mentioning that once your chicken has gone bad, even cooking it won’t do any good, and such chicken will cause serious health implications even if consumed after cooking.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden chicken often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad chicken is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed chicken that has bacterial growth on it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming chicken that has gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad chicken and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should 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. In case the vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than 3 days or the symptoms worsen, you should seek immediate medical help.

It is worth mentioning that when it comes to chicken, then you will find a “sell by” and “use-by” date on it rather than the “expiry date”.

Chicken lasts for about 1-2 days when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, cooked chicken lasts for about 3-4 days when stored properly in the fridge in an air-tight container.

It is worth mentioning that you should do the sensory evaluation of the chicken, before deciding whether or not you are going to eat it.

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 has gone bad or not.

Color 

If you can notice that the color of the chicken has changed to grey-green or brown 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.

Smell 

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

You can read more about chicken and food poisoning here.

How to properly store chicken?

You should always store your chicken at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit therefore it is always advised to store your chicken at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

You should never let your chicken sit out for more than 2 hours. The chicken lasts for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature (1 hour if the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more). You should discard the chicken that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore there are greater chances of the chicken being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours at the room temperature.

It is advised to always store the chicken on the shelf of the refrigerator rather than the door as there can be a lot of temperature fluctuations at the door of the fridge that can degrade the quality of the chicken.

In case you want to freeze the chicken, it is best practice to wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil or thick plastic wrap before putting it in a plastic freezer bag. By doing so you will prevent freezer burns on your chicken.

Last but not least you should always cook chicken till its internal temperature reaches about 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired chicken” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired chicken. 

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-chicken-last-in-the-fridge

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

https://www.insider.com/what-happens-if-you-eat-food-that-went-bad-2019-2

https://ask.metafilter.com/9567/Expired-Chicken

https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/chicken.html

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.

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