How long does cooked chicken last in the fridge?

cooked chiken masala
cooked chiken masala
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The people always love chicken for its versatile ways of cooking. Whether baked, fried, or roasted, several mouth-watering recipes are savored across the world with this versatile ingredient.  It is a good source of protein but also a highly perishable product and hence to be used carefully.

Who doesn’t want a handy chicken stored in the refrigerator? But storing it safely is the primary concern as it is exposed to the high risk of bacterial contamination. Let us explore how long does cooked chicken last in the fridge?

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How long does the cooked chicken last in the fridge?

The cooked chicken can be used up to 4 days of cooking when stored in the refrigerator. You can keep the raw chicken up to 2 days safely in the fridge, according to the United Safety Department of Agriculture (USDA). This golden rule applies to the turkey as well as other poultry.


Refrigerating the chicken helps in stopping the bacterial growth, as the growth of bacteria is restricted below the temperature of 40°F.

The airtight container should be used for the cooked chicken to store in the refrigerator to avoid its contact with air. Raw chicken should be stored in a leak-proof container to prevent the spilling of its juices.

If you want to store the chicken for a longer time, it is recommended to freeze it in the freezer bag. You can quickly freeze the raw chicken up to 9 months and cooked chicken up to 2-6 months.

How to identify the spoiled chicken?

The chicken, which is left over for more than the days above, is likely to get spoiled. However, if you have not refrigerated the chicken properly, there are chances that it can get spoiled earlier as well. If you find any of the below-mentioned signs, it is an indication that the chicken is likely to get spoiled:

  • Texture: If you find the slimy texture of your chicken indicates that it has gone bad. Even the rinsing of chicken will not work as it cannot separate the bacteria. Instead, it increases the chances of cross-contamination by shifting the bacteria from chicken to other foods and utensils.
  • Smell: When the raw or cooked chicken turns bad, it releases a smell resembling ammonia. However, the scent is difficult to notice when the chicken is marinated with the sauces or spices.
  • Color: If you find the color of the chicken turning grey-green from white or pinkish, it is an indication of spoiled chicken. These grey-green spots indicate the bacterial growth in the chicken.
  • After ‘best by’ date: The raw or cooked chicken which has crossed its s ‘best by’ time mentioned on its packaging is more likely to get spoiled.

What are the risks of eating spoiled chicken?

Food poisoning is a significant risk associate with eating the spoiled chicken. As the bad chicken s contaminated with bacteria like Campylobacter, Salmonella, and others, the toxins produced by these bacteria have a drastic effect on your health.

cooked chicken with biriyani

Cooking the spoiled chicken can kill the surface bacteria, but the toxins produced cannot be eliminated and cause food poisoning. Diarrhea, Dehydration, fever, nausea, vomiting, and chills are some of the symptoms of food poisoning. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat cooked chicken after seven days?

Cooked Chicken remains safe to eat only for a short duration if kept in the fridge. It has been recommended by the Food Safety and Inspection that cooked chicken only stays good for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

What happens if you eat chicken that has been in the fridge too long?

A cooked chicken lying for long is the fridge that gets spoiled. Eating spoiled chicken causes foodborne illness. It may also lead to food poisoning as the bacteria named Campylobacter, Salmonella, and other bacteria starts prevailing in the spoiled chicken.

How can you tell if the cooked chicken is bad?

The change in the color of chicken is the primary indicator of the spoiled chicken. A fresh chicken is white or brown. Once it is ruined, the color changes to green or grey-green. You can also notice the offensive smell once the chicken turns bad. There are also molds or white spots on the spoiled chicken, which can be seen after diligent inspection.

Is raw chicken, OK in the fridge for five days?

No, As recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, raw chicken, whether whole or in pieces like breast, wings, thighs, and drumsticks, should not be used after 48 hours of keeping into the fridge.

Why is the inside of my chicken brown?

The blood seeps from the bones when you cook the chicken. When this blood is exposed to heat, it turns brown. So, it is safe to consume a chicken that appears to be brown inside. However, if you are noticing a foul smell or mold, discard such chicken immediately.

Why my raw chicken is GREY?

Mostly the fresh and raw chicken is pink in color. Once it starts spoiling, the color changes to grey. The color of the chicken turns pale and dull once with the passing time lying in the fridge. It is recommended to use it as soon as possible, once you notice the change in color. Once the chicken turns more grey than pink, it is an indicator of spoiled chicken.

Why is my cooked chicken yellow?

Several factors like breed, diet, age, and exercise result in the varied color of the chicken. Hence your cooked chicken turns yellow; it could be healthy and acceptable. The younger poultry has lesser fat under the skin leading to the bluish cast. The chicks feed on marigold have yellowish skin resulting in the yellow chicken.

How long is defrosted chicken good for in the fridge?

The chicken, which is defrosted in the fridge, is safe to consume for 1-2 days of thawing. If you foresee not to use the defrosted chicken for the time above, it is recommended to refreeze it within the stipulated time to use it for a longer duration.

Will undercook chicken hurt you?

The undercooked chicken possesses lethal bacteria, which can potentially harm you. Hence, one must strictly avoid the undercooked chicken as you are prone to food poisoning due to the presence of campylobacter or Salmonella in it. A fully cooked chicken is a safer option to consider.

Why is my cooked chicken slimy?

The versatile chicken can be cooked in several ways, but it gets slimy after any process of cooking, it indicates that the chicken has turned bad. A slimy cooked chicken smells bad, turns grey, or can even have visible mold, which suggests that it has become bad and should be discarded.

Why my Chicken smells like an egg?

When the Salmonella enteric bacteria prevail in chicken, it turns the smell of chicken like eggs as the chicken starts releasing the hydrogen sulfide gas. Such chicken should be discarded immediately, even without being tasted as it may lead to serious health hazards.

 Author Bio

Hello Readers !! Reema and Urman are the founders of They started Gohealthline to provide a platform where they could share informative articles related to health, fitness, beauty, weight loss, etc. Reema is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry. Connect with both owners to know more.

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