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What does the sell by date mean on chicken? Can I still eat chicken with a date two days ago?

asked by mpistner almost 4 years ago
4 answers 7755 views
Kristy Mucci

Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.

added almost 4 years ago

You're usually safe a few days after a sell by date but I'd rather err on the side of safety, especially with poultry. Is it a whole raw chicken, or is it cooked? If raw, I'd cook it today.

added almost 4 years ago

Sell by is when it needs to be out of the market not consumed. Just give it the old smell test it should be fine as long as it has been stored properly.

added almost 4 years ago

I sometimes intentionally buy chicken that's been marked down due to close date - but I freeze immediately if I don't have a plan. The smell test is essential here. Even frozen, if will smell "off" if spoiled and should not be consumed.


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

Sometimes that "reduced for quick sale" label on the package can be a good deal. Still I wouldn't hold onto that chicken for more than a day. I expect after reading that Harvard study I'll be eating more poultry.