Have you ever been excited to cook a meal, only to find that the chicken you bought has gone bad? It’s a frustrating and common problem that many people face. In this article, we will discuss several ways to tell if chicken is bad, so you can avoid throwing away money on spoiled meat and prevent the risk of food poisoning.

The Smell Test

The most reliable way to tell if chicken is bad is by using your sense of smell. When chicken is fresh, it has a slightly sweet aroma. When it’s gone bad, it will have a pungent, sour smell. If your chicken has a bad smell, it’s best to discard it.

It’s important to note that some chicken may have a faint odor that’s not necessarily bad. However, if you notice any unusual or strong smells, trust your instincts and don’t take any chances.

The Texture Check

Fresh chicken should feel firm to the touch and have smooth, moist skin. If your chicken feels slimy or tacky or if the skin is dry or sticky, it’s a sign that it may be spoiled. Additionally, if you notice any discoloration or bumps on the chicken, it’s best to throw it away.

Look at the Color

The color of chicken can also be an indication of its freshness. Fresh chicken should have a pinkish color, while bad chicken may appear gray or yellow. If you’re unsure, check the sell-by date on the package or ask your butcher or store employee for assistance.

Temperature Check

Cooking chicken to the proper internal temperature is crucial for ensuring it’s safe to eat. The USDA recommends that chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). The best way to check the temperature is by using a meat thermometer.

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken without touching any bone. If it reads 165°F (74°C) or higher, it’s safe to eat. If not, continue cooking until it reaches this temperature.

Know the Expiration Date

When buying packaged chicken, it’s essential to check the expiration date. Pay attention to both the sell-by and use-by dates to ensure your chicken is fresh and safe to eat. Sell-by dates are used by stores to ensure they sell fresh products, while use-by dates indicate the last day the chicken should be consumed for optimal quality and safety.

If your chicken is near the use-by date, it’s best to cook it immediately or freeze it to prolong its shelf life.

Selling Out of Date Chicken

It’s important to be cautious when buying packaged chicken, especially if it’s on sale or marked down. Examine the packaging carefully for any signs of damage, such as tears or rips. Additionally, check the sell-by and use-by dates to ensure it’s fresh.

If the packaging looks damaged or the chicken appears to be past its expiration date, don’t take any chances. Chances are, it’s best to choose a different package or buy fresh chicken from another store or supplier.

Safe Storage

Proper storage is important to ensure your chicken stays fresh and safe to eat. If you’re not planning on cooking your chicken immediately, store it in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C) for up to two days. If you need to store it any longer, freeze it instead. Chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.

When storing chicken, place it in an airtight container to prevent cross-contamination and keep it away from other foods in the fridge or freezer.


Telling if chicken is bad is crucial for avoiding food poisoning and wasting money. We hope this guide has provided you with valuable information on how to tell if chicken is bad. Remember to trust your senses, check for proper storage and handling, and always cook your chicken to a safe internal temperature.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *