How to know if chicken is spoiled (5 easy ways)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to know if chicken is spoiled”, discuss the different methods of identifying spoiled chicken and the potential health effects of eating spoiled chicken.

How to know if chicken is spoiled?

We may know if chicken is spoiled by checking the expiry date, smell, color, texture, etc. Spoiled chicken may give off a rancid or foul smell. The color of spoiled chicken may turn greyish or yellowish. Spoiled chicken may also have an extra layer of stickiness. If you see a mold or fungus growing then it is a strong sign that the chicken has been spoiled.

Chicken is one of our favorite poultry which we love to eat in our daily dishes. But sometimes chicken may be spoiled and produce many harmful effects in our body. So to avoid eating spoiled chicken we must first know the signs of spoiled chicken.

Expiry date:

If you purchase chicken from a store or in any packaged form. It usually has an expiry date written on it also. You should always consume the chicken before the expiry date. If it gets past the expiry date then it may start to spoil. Always remember to check the expiry date of the chicken before consuming it.


Fresh chicken is supposed to be pinkish. If you observe any greyish shade over the chicken then this is a strong sign that it is expired. Always inspect your chicken before eating it.


We can do a smell test on the chicken and decide if it is spoiled or not. Chicken has its odor but if you feel any sour or foul smell then it means that your chicken is spoiled and is no longer good to consume. If you experience any pungent smell or foul smell it is better to throw such chicken away. Fresh chicken will never give such a smell.


Fresh chickens usually have a slippery and glossy surface. But if you feel that there is another layer over the chicken and is sticky or gooey then it is also a strong sign that the chicken has gone bad. Checking the texture of the chicken is also a good thing to practice.


Inspect the entire chicken and see whether it has any sign of fungal or mold growth on it or not. If you can see some kind of fungus growing inside the chicken then it is probably been spoiled for a while and is unfit to consume. Throw such chicken away in which you feel that there has been some sort of mold growth.

Other FAQs about Chicken which you may be interested in.

How long can grilled chicken last in the fridge?

How long can leftover chicken stay in the fridge?

Can you put chicken in the fridge after defrosting it?

Shelf life of chicken:

You can refrigerate cooked chicken in a cool and dry place for about 3-5 days. If you freeze the cooked chicken then it may be good to consume for about 3 months. Fresh uncooked chicken may last in the refrigerator for about 1-2 days. In contrast, if you freeze the fresh uncooked chicken then it may last up to a year also. Roasted chicken can last in the refrigerator for about 7 days. Similarly, if we freeze the roasted chicken then it may last up to 7 months.

Health effects:

If you consume spoiled chicken b mistake then you might have symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain, nausea, fever, chills, diarrhea, etc. If you have eaten a very little bit of spoiled chicken then you might have to face very mild vomiting. But you might also have to face severe vomiting. If you are having severe vomiting then you should see a doctor. 


So in this blog, we discussed the 5 easy ways to find out if the chicken is spoiled or not. If you see your chicken is turning greyish or yellowish then it means that your chicken is spoiled now. Rancid, sour, or any kind of foul smell also is a strong sign that the chicken has gone bad. If you spot a mold or a fungus growing on the chicken then definitely you should throw your chicken out.The growth of mold or fungus is a strong sign of spoiled chicken.

It is a good practice to check out the expiry date of chickens. If the date has passed then it surely means that the chicken is now spoiled. You can keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator for 5-6 days and 1 year in the freezer. Also, you can keep the fresh chicken in the refrigerator for about 1-2 days and 1 year in the freezer.

If you feel any gross, sticky extra layer on the surface of chicken then it also is a strong sign that the chicken is spoiled.

Further, we also discussed the harmful effects on our health after eating spoiled chicken.

I hope you find this blog helpful. If you have any queries then comment below.


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.