If we are not careful with our meals, particularly chicken, anyone can get food poisoning. It is unpleasant to spend time preparing a whole chicken to discover that the raw meat has spoiled. It implies that much food will be wasted. Fortunately, there are several effortless techniques on how to tell if a chicken is bad or our chicken is still safe to consume. These include examining the chicken for signs of aging, smelling out strange odors, touching the meat for slime, and recalling the date of purchase.
Forty-eight million individuals become ill from a foodborne disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are a few techniques to determine whether the chicken is terrible and how to guarantee eating high-quality chicken.
An unpleasant scent is a telling symptom of rotten chicken. Fresh, raw chicken will either have no fragrance or very little. Discard your chicken if it smells strongly of anything, like rotting eggs or something bitter or sulfurous.
To assess if the chicken is safe to consume, you should never rely just on the scent.
Not everybody will detect a difference in the scent of chicken since each person’s sense of smell is unique. So keep an eye out for different indicators of rotting.
2. Expiration Date
Check somewhere at the “best by” date printed on the container. It’s preferable to throw away the chicken than risk becoming sick if you’re much over that date because it’s probably not safe for consumption. The “best by” date is only one of the timelines you should be aware of.
Generally speaking, raw chicken shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator for longer than two days. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the USDA both state that a chicken’s expiry date changes depending on whether it has been cooked.
Check the “use by” date on the packaging before you leave the grocery store. According to the USDA, this date isn’t an expiry date; instead, it marks the point at which the chicken starts to lose its “peak quality.” Therefore, the chicken may be used up to two days later. Pay attention to additional sensory cues if the chicken has gone bad after two days.
Place the chicken in the refrigerator as soon as it is finished cooking to chill down as rapidly as possible. Remember to name and date your storing box to determine when the chicken expires. Once cooked, consume it three to four days later; otherwise, throw.
The texture of the raw, fresh chicken is shiny and a little soft.
It must not have a slimy, tacky, or sticky texture. After handling raw chicken, the chicken has gone rotten if your hands come away with a sticky residue.
Compared to raw chicken, cooked chicken is firmer and drier. It’s probably no longer safe to consume if you detect textural differences, such as a rise in softness, sliminess, stickiness, or residue.
4. Appearance & Color
There are a few essential variations between raw and cooked chicken in terms of look and color.
Before cooking chicken, it’s essential to inspect it for symptoms of rotting.
White fat bits and a light pink color should be present in raw chicken. You must throw away the chicken if the meat is grey, green, or yellow in color. These are signs of deterioration. But even minor color changes in the chicken’s meat are OK.
For instance, you could notice a slight fading or darkening of the pink flesh, typical when oxymyoglobin, a red protein, and pigment, changes into metmyoglobin when oxygen interacts. This may be a sign that the chicken isn’t as fresh, but it’s not typically a sign that it has degraded.
A slight color change is typical as the chicken is appropriately kept in the fridge or freezer.
Lastly, dispose of the chicken if there are any apparent symptoms of deterioration, such as mold development. The entire piece or batch of chicken should be thrown out since, unlike hard cheese, you can’t merely snip off a little bit where mold growth has developed.
Cooked chicken shouldn’t have pink meat; it must be white. The meat of the undercooked chicken will be pink. Chicken remains should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than three days in a sealed container at 40°F (4°C).
Once preparing or eating, make sure to immediately place the chicken in the refrigerator since it can deteriorate if left out in the “danger zone” of 40°F (4°C) to 140°F (60°C) for an extended time.
In this temperature range, germs multiply rapidly, and the chance of contracting a foodborne disease rises.
Between the time the chicken is placed in the refrigerator and when you want to consume it, look for any apparent symptoms of mold development or color changes and toss the chicken away.
If indeed the chicken has any spices or dressings on it, it may be challenging to detect mold or color changes.
For this reason, you must consume the chicken within three days of preparing it. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken as it is being reheated to ensure it reaches a minimum of 165°F (74°C).
5. Strange Growth
Examine your chicken for any bacterial signs. When you spot mold, the food has now degraded. You might still be exposed to illness even if you only remove the mold-infected pieces. Mould indicates that something has gone wrong, and it needs to smell a little.
There are several techniques to determine whether or not the chicken is rotten. At moments, you may consume it without even noticing it, but at other times, you may catch it before cooking it. When cooking chicken, keep an eye on the expiration date and open your senses. If you are unsure, always toss it out. This eliminates the possibility of food poisoning. We hope you liked our guide on How to tell if a chicken is bad, please let us know in the comment section!