How long do chicken nuggets last in the fridge?

This article will answer the question “How long do chicken nuggets last in the fridge?”, and what is the shelf-life of cooked and raw chicken?

How long do chicken nuggets last in the fridge?

Cooked chicken nuggets will stay good for 1-2 days in the fridge if kept in an air-tight container or wrapped in a plastic sheet or foil. Cooked nuggets won’t become unsafe by the third or fourth day of refrigeration in most cases but it is better to be in the safe zone. 

To prolong the shelf-life, store the nuggets in a freezer bag and chuck them into the freezer. Freezing will extend the shelf-life of the nuggets up to 2-3 months. Nuggets that were thawed in the fridge overnight should keep good for 1-2 more days in the fridge. 

Cooked chicken nuggets should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking. If left at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F for more than 2 hours, the safety of the nuggets is compromised. 

Food storage and leftovers 

Lunch meat 

In the fridge In the freezer 
Opened package or deli-sliced3-5 days 1-2 months 
Unopened package2 weeks 1-2 months 

Fresh poultry 

In the fridge In the freezer 
Chicken or turkey, whole 1-2 days 1 year 
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1-2 days 9 months 

Leftovers 

In the fridge In the freezer 
Soups & stews with vegetable or meat added3-4 days 2-3 months 
Cooked meat or poultry 3-4 days2-6 months 
Chicken nuggets or patties3-4 days1-3 months 
Pizza 3-4 days1-2 months 

How long can raw chicken stay in the fridge?

According to the USDA, uncooked chicken can be kept safely in the fridge for 1-2 days regardless if it is whole or not, while cooked chicken will preserve its freshness for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

The safety/quality clock for store-bought frozen chicken starts ticking after the chicken has been thawed once. Raw chicken should be frozen if it is not to be consumed within 1-2 days of refrigeration.

How to identify spoiled chicken?

  • Keep track of the expiration date. If the chicken is past its ‘Use-by’ date, discard it.
  • Chicken that is past its expiration date is not necessarily unsafe to eat. In this case, let your senses guide you.
  • If the chicken smells unpleasant, it is a strong indication of spoilage.
  • If the surface of the meat is sticky to touch, the meat and spoiled. Toss it in the bin.
  • If the chicken develops patches or spots of grey or green color, it is an indication of mold and bacterial contamination. Do not consume and throw away immediately.

Storing chicken safely

  • Do not keep the chicken on the counter. Chicken that has been left on the counter for more than 2 hours at 32 degrees celsius should be discarded for safety purposes.
  • Always refrigerate your chicken after purchasing. A stable refrigeration temperature of 4 degrees celsius or lower prevents bacterial growth. Double wrapping your chicken with plastic is recommended by the USDA.
  • If the chicken is not to be used within 2-3 days of purchasing, put it in the freezer. Use a heavy-duty plastic bag or freezer bag to prevent freeze injury. The frozen chicken will stay fresh for 9-12 months. No air should remain in the bag.

How to thaw frozen chicken?

Plan your meals ahead of time and always defrost your chicken in the refrigerator. Let it stay in the fridge overnight. Place the freezer bag in a dish before tossing it in the fridge to avoid drips.

If the chicken is thawed at the counter, by the time it is thawed completely, the microbial load of the chicken has become high enough for it to be discarded. 

How long does cooked ground chicken last in the fridge?

Chicken breast 

The cooked chicken breast will be good for 304 days in the fridge if stored correctly. While a raw breast would only last 1-2 days. Freeze for extended shelf life.

Whole chicken 

Whole chicken lasts almost the same or sometimes for a lesser time period as compared to the breast or ground chicken in the fridge. To extend its shelf-life, It is recommended to cut the whole chicken into suitably sized pieces.

Vacuum sealed cooked chicken 

Vacuum-sealed cooked chicken will last 2 weeks in the fridge and months in the freezer. The vacuum sealing keeps the bacteria at bay.

Chicken liver 

The cooked chicken liver will only last 1-2 days in the fridge. You might have come across chicken liver in stores with its label claiming It will last 3 weeks. It can last this long without being unsafe. But the quality will change. 

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How long can you eat rotisserie chicken?

How long can you eat cooked chicken?

How long can you eat chicken after the sell-by date?

Conclusion

This article answered the question “How long do chicken nuggets last in the fridge?”, and what is the shelf-life of cooked and raw chicken?

References

https://www.fox4news.com/good-day/food-safety-how-long-can-you-keep-leftovers-in-the-fridge
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16785
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-chicken-last-in-the-fridge#spoiled-chicken-risks
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-long-will-raw-chicken-stay-good-in-the-fridge-248178