How Long is Raw Chicken Good in the Refrigerator?


Raw chicken is a popular ingredient in many recipes, but knowing how long it’s safe to store in the refrigerator can be tricky. It’s important to understand the proper storage techniques and recommended time frame for keeping raw chicken fresh and safe to eat. This article will provide an overview of the shelf-life of raw chicken in the fridge and how to maximize its freshness.

How to Maximize the Shelf-Life of Raw Chicken in Your Refrigerator

When storing raw chicken in the refrigerator, there are several steps you should take to ensure it remains safe and at peak quality. Proper storage techniques and the right temperature will help the chicken stay fresh and last longer. Here are some tips for maximizing the shelf-life of raw chicken in your fridge:

  • Store raw chicken in its original packaging or in an airtight container or resealable bag.
  • Keep the chicken in the coldest part of the refrigerator, usually the back, away from other foods.
  • Set the refrigerator to 40°F (4°C) or below.
  • Never refreeze raw chicken that has been previously thawed.

How Long Can You Store Raw Chicken in the Fridge?

The recommended time frame for storing raw chicken in the refrigerator is two days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, this time frame may vary depending on the product’s expiration date. Generally, you should use or freeze raw chicken within one to two days of purchasing it, as the further it gets from its expiration date, the more likely it is to spoil.

Best Practices for Keeping Raw Chicken Fresh in the Refrigerator

Taking the proper precautions when storing and handling raw chicken in the refrigerator is key to preserving its freshness and avoiding foodborne illness. Here are some best practices to follow when keeping raw chicken in the fridge:

  • Regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator to make sure it’s set to 40°F (4°C) or below.
  • Seal and label all containers or bags of raw chicken so you know when it was purchased or frozen.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by using different cutting boards and utensils for raw chicken and other foods.

What is the Recommended Time Frame for Storing Raw Chicken in the Fridge?

According to the USDA, the maximum amount of time you can safely store raw chicken in the refrigerator is two days. After two days, the chicken should be cooked or frozen. If the chicken has been frozen, it can be stored in the freezer for up to nine months before it starts to lose its flavor and texture.

Tips for Making Sure Your Raw Chicken Doesn’t Go Bad

To ensure that your raw chicken stays fresh and safe to eat, there are a few safety tips you should always follow. These include:

  • When handling raw chicken, always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Store raw chicken separately from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Cook the chicken immediately after purchasing or defrosting.
How to Tell When Raw Chicken Has Gone Bad
How to Tell When Raw Chicken Has Gone Bad

How to Tell When Raw Chicken Has Gone Bad

If you’re unsure if your raw chicken has gone bad, there are a few signs to look out for. First, give the chicken a sniff test. If it has a sour or off odor, it’s likely no longer safe to eat. Additionally, pay attention to any changes in color, such as yellowing or brown spots. Finally, check the texture of the chicken. If it feels slimy or sticky, it’s best to discard it.


Raw chicken can be a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal, but it’s important to know how to properly store it in the refrigerator. Following the recommended time frame of two days and taking the necessary precautions to avoid foodborne illness, such as washing your hands and separating raw chicken from other foods, will help keep your family safe and healthy. By regularly checking the temperature and paying attention to the smell, color, and texture of the chicken, you can make sure it’s still safe to eat.

In conclusion, raw chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Be sure to use proper storage techniques and follow safety protocols to make sure the chicken stays fresh and safe to eat. If you’re ever unsure if your chicken has gone bad, use the smell, color, and texture tests to determine if it’s still good.

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