I bought a fresh chicken that was packed on Oct. 22 and haven't had a chance to roast it yet. How long will it be OK in the fridge?

  • Posted by: Midge
  • October 26, 2010


fry I. October 28, 2010
I raise my own chickens and fresh like the same day they are tough, let them sit in the fridge for 5 days and they are nice and tender. I read this right off the website where I bought the day old chicks. The first time I did this something came up and it sat for 6 days and it was perfectly fine. Makes one wonder.
Midge October 27, 2010
That's super handy. Thanks Hilarybee!
Hilarybee October 27, 2010
I don't know how long supermarket chickens are around. I don't buy them- I get my chickens from a local farmer and freeze them the same day. I have found this food safety list from the FDA somewhat helpful. I'm by no means advocating all FDA policies here (I'd especially like to legally buy fresh milk without extra processing), but this has some facts that I found really useful. I've definitely kept food longer than the FDA recommends- but I try to keep them in mind.
According to the FDA, a whole chicken can last in the fridge about two days. In the freezer, almost a year.

I printed out this handy PDF and laminated it. I keep it in my kitchen as a reminder.
Midge October 27, 2010
Since it was downright balmy yesterday --not exactly coq au vin weather -- I ended up freezing the chicken on the advice of the manager of the market where I bought it. He says he prefers these chix a week after they are packed (and he is still walking around..).So DonnyG can relax for now. But this makes me wonder how long supermarkets chickens take are sitting around before people buy them. Anyone know?
mrslarkin October 26, 2010
Oh, that's cutting it very close. Hopefully, we'll hear from Midge tomorrow about how the Coq au vin turned out. DonnyG is probably having a panic attack right now. ;)
Mr_Vittles October 26, 2010
If it doesn't smell, and I mean not even a trace of funk, then I would eat it. If there is any foul odor then throw the fowl away!
Midge October 26, 2010
Thanks, pierino. Coq au vin it is.
pierino October 26, 2010
Under those circumstances, risk taker that I am, I would probably go ahead and use it. But probably use it in a braise or stew that will cook for awhile rather than roasting it or frying it. And I also support buying your meat, fish and poultry from local sources.
Midge October 26, 2010
Thanks everyone! I bought it on Sunday from a local-foods market that got it directly from the small farmer. I busted it out of its cryovac and it smells OK..?
Dinner@Hazel's October 26, 2010
How does it smell? If it still smells fresh, I'd roast it today or rewrap it and toss it in the freezer. If it doesn't, then there's your answer.
dymnyno October 26, 2010
What day did you buy the chicken and put it in your refrigerator? If it was packed on October 22, that means it is at least 4 days old, but probably older. It had to be killed and processed and then delivered to a grocery store which probably repackaged it. If you bought the chicken yesterday, I would return it to the store. It was too old when they sold it. If you bought the chicken and forgot about it for 4 days, I would toss it.
pierino October 26, 2010
I'm with drbabs here. And who knows how far that chicken had to travel to get to your refrigerator. If it were an "air chilled" chicken from maybe Whole Foods, I would probably trust it longer. The latter aren't pumped up with water (by the way, you are paying for the water in weight) like most supermarket chickens.
drbabs October 26, 2010
4 days is probably too long unless your refrigerator is unusually cold. If in doubt, throw it out! (Trust me, food poisoning is so not worth it.)
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