How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge in 2022 (sad truth)?

How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge? How long does raw chicken last in the fridge? There are so many questions when it comes to chicken and refrigeration, but as long as you know the exact date period, there is no health risk.  

The protein in chicken is healthy, and no matter how it is prepared (cooking, grilling, roasting, or frying), it is a great source of protein.

Every dining table has this delicious meat, and leftovers can be found in the refrigerator for another meal.

Most of us store our meals in the refrigerator for the next day. However, did you know that storing cooked chicken properly prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses?

Have you ever wondered, “how long does cooked chicken last in the fridge?” and “what is the best time to eat cooked chicken?”

This article will help you understand everything you need to know about refrigerating cooked chicken, how long it will last to be eaten safely, and some crucial tips you can follow to avoid unnecessary health problems caused by foods.

How to store raw chicken?

When discussing cooked chicken, you might also be considering raw chicken, and you need to ensure safety by using the proper storage methods to consume chicken.

You can store the raw chicken for up to one to two days in the refrigerator. However, you can keep pieces of raw chicken in the freezer for up to 9 months and a whole chicken for up to one year.

raw chicken Webs Health - Webs Health
Raw Chicken

Besides, it is ideal for keeping chicken in a leak-proof container to keep juices from leaking and harming the other foods in the fridge.

How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge: cooked chicken

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has stated that cooked chicken can last only 3-4 days in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or less.

Did you know that bacteria can still grow in any temperature? Refrigerating can only slow down the bacteria growth and does not kill them. Therefore, it is crucial to have your leftovers within 3 to 4 days to prevent harm to your health.

What are the bacteria in chicken, and how does the bacterial growth happen?

Two main types of bacteria lead food to get spoiled.

Pathogenic bacteria

Pathogenic bacteria webs health - Webs Health
Pathogenic bacteria

Pathogenic bacteria are the kind of bacteria family that causes food-borne severe illnesses. These bacteria can grow between temperatures of 40°F to 140°F. You cannot identify that these bacteria have been developed in the chicken because they do not cause meat’s taste, smell, or appearance to change.

Spoilage bacteria


Spoilage bacteria affect the taste, smell, and appearance of the chicken badly. They cause the chicken to fasten and develop foul odors, textures, and flavors. Spoilage bacteria grow in refrigerators.

How to know if the chicken is bad after refrigerating

How to tell if the chicken is bad to eat?

One of the most important questions anyone has in their mind.

If you put the cooked chicken in the fridge, some factors can check if it has gone bad before consuming it.

Here are some signs you can notice, and we have listed them below for your information that you must discard as soon as you the detection.

Smell: Cooked chicken spread an acidic smell if it has gone bad. But it will be hard to notice the odor if you have marinated the chicken.


Texture: If you notice the chicken has a slimy texture, it simply means the chicken is spoiled, and you should not have it.


Colour: You can consider that chicken is unsafe to eat if you detect color changes like gray to green in the whole chicken or spots.

By or before date: If the chicken has passed its quality to consume with marked ‘by or before date,’ you should not be eating.

What are the risks of consuming spoiled chicken?

We have mentioned before that spoiled chicken can cause food-borne illnesses. In some cases, it has been reported that food poisoning can lead to death. Most of the time, you will need to seek medical care or hospitalization if you get sick from spoiled foods. You may have the symptoms such as,

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Bloody stools

You must not ignore the above symptoms because they can affect you badly and lead to severe complications if you do.

How Long Does Chicken Last in the Fridge: Frozen chicken

Frozen chicken webs health - Webs Health
Frozen chicken

If you are not going to consume the refrigerated chicken within 3 to 4 days, you must directly put them in a freezer under the temperature of 10 degrees to 25 degrees.

How long is frozen chicken good for eating? And how long can cooked chicken stay out in a freezer? FSIS says that once the cooked chicken is frozen, you can keep them up to 4 months.

Follow these essential tips to freeze cooked chicken properly.

  • If your cooked chicken is still warm, you will have to keep it until it gets cooled. However, if the chicken is chilled in the fridge, you can ignore this step in the process of freezing.
  • It is essential to wrap the chicken with foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper to avoid freezer burn and keep its moisture. If not, the chicken will be tough, dry, and tasteless.
  • If you need extra protection, you can keep them in a freezer bag. You can also mark the date of packing to know how long it has been frozen.

Final Thoughts

Chicken is one of the most delicious meals anyone can eat. Bacteria can spoil any food. In order to avoid getting sick from food-borne illnesses, it is crucial that you consume fresh and healthy meals. It is possible to die from food poisoning after being hospitalized.

As a result, you should not ignore the above-listed signs and symptoms of spoiled chicken.

We have provided you with all the information you need regarding storing chicken in the fridge in this article. Keep these essential factors in mind and store the cooked chicken in a freezer if you do not intend to consume it within three to four days.

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Savindi Perera
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