The exact answer to the question “How long does raw chicken last?” depends to a large extent on storage conditions — keep chicken refrigerated at all times.
How long does raw chicken last after the sell-by date? After chicken is purchased, it may be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days — the "sell-by" date on the package may expire during that storage period, but the chicken will remain safe to use after the sell by date if it has been properly stored.
Unopened raw chicken may be kept in its original store packaging when refrigerating; to maximize the shelf life of chicken, do not open the package until ready to use.
How long does raw chicken last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; chicken should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
To further extend the shelf life of raw chicken, freeze; when freezing, place chicken in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
You can maximize the shelf life of chicken in the freezer by overwrapping the original store packaging with airtight heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper or place the package inside a heavy-duty freezer bag in order to prevent freezer burn.
How long does raw chicken last in the freezer for safety purposes? The freezer time shown is for best quality only — foods kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
How long does raw chicken last after being frozen and thawed? Chicken that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking; chicken that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be cooked immediately.
How long does chicken last in the fridge once it is cooked? Cooked chicken will usually stay good for 3 to 4 days in the fridge and 4 months in the freezer.
How to tell if raw chicken is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the chicken: signs of bad chicken are a sour smell, dull color and slimy texture; discard any chicken with an off smell or appearance.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please