What happens if you eat bad chicken broth?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What happens if you eat bad chicken broth?” methods to detect spoilt broth and store broth.

What happens if you eat bad chicken broth?

If you consume bad chicken broth, you are likely to experience symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and diarrhea. These symptoms might last for 2-3 days. Bacteria like E.coli or Salmonella are commonly found in spoilt broth which can contribute to illness.

Chicken broth is usually boiled and cooked properly so it is rare to get botulism from consuming the broth. At the most, you can develop symptoms of food poisoning.

The complications that can arise from food poisoning are dehydration, severe weakness, dry mouth, reduced urination or dark urine, blurriness in vision, tingling sensation in the arms, lightheadedness, and excessive feeling of thirst.

Dehydration is the most common symptom as there is loss of body fluids through vomiting and diarrhea.

Food poisoning can be treated by consuming good amounts of fluids, consuming bland foods, and taking medications for nausea. If the symptoms do not subside within 72 hours, it is better to consult a doctor.

How to prevent food poisoning?

  • Store the broth in clean vessels. Wash your vessels properly with soap and water.
  • Keep the broth away from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Keep the broth away from sunlight in a cool, dry, and dark place.
  • Avoid keeping the broth for a longer time at room temperature. Refrigerate as soon as possible.
  • If you are planning to consume the broth, reheating the stock for 150℉ for a minute or boiling for ten minutes can help in destroying the harmful bacteria in the broth. Also, use a thermometer to detect temperature.

Also, keep in mind that refrigeration can slow down bacterial growth but does not destroy bacteria. Boiling and cooking the broth thoroughly is the only way to kill the bacteria.

  • If you are suspicious that the broth is no longer safe to consume, trust your instincts and throw it away.
  • If you do not plan on consuming chicken broth do not open it. Opened chicken broth is likely to spoil quickly than unopened one.
  • Dents or bruises on the can of the chicken broth can also expose it to bacteria. Look thoroughly at the pack of chicken broth before buying.
  • If the chicken broth is store-bought, look at the label on the container. Try to finish the broth within the best-before date. Home-made broth can last for a year while canned ones last for 2-5 years.
  • The leftover broth can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Freezing can further extend its shelf-life.
  • For freezing the broth, transfer the broth onto a freezer-safe pack. You can thaw it by placing it overnight in the fridge or by heating it in the microwave.

How to detect spoilt chicken broth?

  • The broth might emanate a smell similar to rotten eggs. The container in which the broth was stored can also smell foul or stinky.
  • If you observe green or blue mold growth on the broth, it is another sign of spoilage.
  • The chicken broth might appear cloudy. You might also observe sediments in the broth.
  • A swollen container or pot could be another indication of spoilage. If chicken broth is kept for a long period of time, the bacteria or yeast present in the container can release gas. This would cause the pot or container to swell.
  • If the broth is exposed to room temperature of 40 to 140℉ for more than two hours, it is likely to be spoilt. There is an increased risk of developing the symptoms of food poisoning if you would consume them.
  • Canned chicken broth would not last for more than 3-4 days in the fridge. If it is stored for more than 3-4 days, it is likely to be spoilt.
  • Try to taste the chicken broth. Spoilt chicken broth would taste sour. Avoid swallowing the chicken broth if you suspect it to be spoilt as this could expose you to toxins.

How to store chicken broth for a long time?

Freezing can prolong the shelf-life of the broth. There are a few techniques to freeze the broth. Let us look at those techniques given below.

  • Chicken broth can be stored in ice trays as cubes. As the broth is liquid, it can expand while placed in the tray.
  • You can also portion the chicken broth and place them in ziplock bags and lie them down into a cookie sheet.
  • You can directly add the frozen broth while cooking or thaw it in the fridge.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What happens if you eat bad chicken broth?” methods to detect spoilt broth and store broth.



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