Storage of Meats Poultry and Seafood
Chicken Meat

How long does chicken stay fresh in the refrigerator?


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Cooked chicken could be good up to 4 days. Raw chicken is best used within 1 or 2 days. You should store the chicken in the coldest part of the refrigerator for best shelf life or put it in freezer if not used within that time frame.

Thawed chicken should be cooked as soon as possible. If not using the chicken immediately, store in the refrigerator and use within 24 hours of thawing. Thaw frozen chicken using one of three methods: in the refrigerator; in a cold water bath, changing the water every 30 minutes; or in the microwave. If using one of the last two quick-thaw methods, cook the chicken immediately. NEVER thaw chicken at room temperature. USDA recommends 1-2 days of refrigerated storage (40°F).

Depending upon the packaging of the chicken, how it was handled in-transit, and the temperature in the refrigerator, the chicken could last longer. For example, some refrigerators have a special meat storage drawer where the temperature is just under 32°F which will allow more shelf life.

Uncooked fresh chicken: less than 2-4 days in sealed package

Cooked chicken: less than 5 days in sealed bag or Tupperware