In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you eat cooked chicken 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat cooked chicken that is 2 days past the use-by date. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of a cooked chicken and different ways to spot spoiled cooked chicken.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
Can you eat cooked chicken 2 days after the use-by date?
According to the USDA, you should consume chicken before the use-by date, but this use-by date rule does not apply when it comes to the chicken that is thoroughly cooked before the use-by date and is properly refrigerated. The cooked chicken can stay good for about 3-4 days if properly refrigerated.
But whether or not you will eat properly stored cooked chicken that is two days past the use-by date (stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time) is dependent on your judgment (you should do a sensory evaluation of cooked chicken).
How to do a sensory evaluation of cooked chicken?
There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your cooked chicken has gone bad. To determine if the cooked chicken has gone bad, look at its appearance, color, texture, and smell.
If you see mold or other organic growth on your cooked chicken or if it is discolored, it’s time to throw it out.
It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy cooked chicken since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.
Examining the color of chicken might help you identify whether it has rotted or is safe to consume. If the exterior surface of the cooked chicken is gray or brown, it should be discarded. This discoloration indicates that it has begun to spoil.
If you touch the cooked chicken and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.
It’s worth noting that after handling the bacterium-laden cooked chicken, you should wash your hands well to prevent the bacteria from spreading to anything else that comes into contact with your hands.
If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your cooked chicken, it’s time to throw it out.
Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked chicken with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled cooked chicken. It will have an off-flavor.
Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your cooked chicken and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.
What are the exceptions to the use-by date rule?
When it comes to the use-by date, you can use chicken that is beyond this date if it was properly frozen (before the use-by date). Moreover, chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.
Chicken can be cooked to extend its shelf life a bit.
What is the use-by date?
The ‘use by’ date is the last date on which food can be safely consumed, prepared, or processed after it has been properly stored.
How long can you leave the cooked chicken in the fridge?
Raw chicken lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days while cooked chicken lasts for about 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.
It’s worth noting that the values given above are for cooked chicken’s expected shelf life.
How long does cooked chicken last at room temperature?
When kept at room temperature, cooked chicken lasts for around 2 hours.
Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, cooked chicken left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.
Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and cooked chicken left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.
How long does cooked chicken last in the freezer?
Raw chicken lasts for 6-12 months while cooked chicken lasts for about 3-6 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste.
As a result, freezing the cooked chicken extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the cooked chicken.
You can read the benefits of different types of meat here.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat cooked chicken 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat cooked chicken that is 2 days past the use-by date. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of a cooked chicken and different ways to spot spoiled cooked chicken.