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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 about 4 years ago
4 answers 8158 views
39c04017 7e7e 43b2 9344 e529de61a1bd  kandm
Kristy Mucci

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

added about 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.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 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.

5ba86c99 9458 4f29 aba0 0796577d2cea  jwl 001
added about 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.

51d6debe 8184 4f26 9614 c25e2aa571c3  p3200173

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

added about 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.