How Long Is Chicken Good After The Sell-By Date?

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When you notice the chicken meat in your refrigerator gets slightly whiffy, you’ll usually throw it away immediately. That’s a reasonable action for most people.

However, if the issue is that the meat passed the sell-by date, that’s another story. If it’s your first time encountering such a situation, a typical question will pop out: “How long is chicken good after the sell-by date?

If poultry meat goes past the sell-by date at home, you can keep storing your food for 1-2 days maximum after the date. Be aware that the nasty fungi and bugs will do your health no good if you exceed this period.

We’ll dig deeper into the topic to help you find a better strategy to use and store your food. Let’s get right into the details!

How Critical Is The Sell-By Date On Chicken?

Consumers are usually confused about date labeling, resulting in billions of kilograms of food wasted every year.

The sell-by date implies how long they display the product on the stock. In other words, it suggests the last day recommended for using the item while it is still at the best quality.

To purchase the freshest products available, you should buy the items before or on this day. Poultry and meat usually come with sell-by dates, and you should check them before purchasing. If you don’t plan to use your meat 1-2 days after purchase, it’s necessary to freeze it.

Date labeling is sometimes not that stringent. Simply put, those labels are just an approximate suggestion for many foods. That’s why poultry often comes with sell-by dates instead of expiration dates.

Is Chicken Safe To Eat Past The Sell-By Date?

How Long Is Chicken Good After The Sell-By Date

Of course, eating anything past its sell-by date is not good for your health, and poultry meat is not foreign to this fact.

Remember that even when you don’t notice any difference in the texture or smell of your chicken, it’s still unsafe to consume. If it’s passed the expiry date for two-plus days, you’d better throw it away.

In case you store the food in a fridge, it’s possible to eat or cook it for over two days after that date. That said, a tip for freshly storing your chicken for an extended period is to keep it in a freezer.

Indeed, you can store raw chicken in a freezer for nine months or more. How to know if your meat is degrading?

Poultry meat will emit a disagreeable, unpleasant odor during the degrading process and build up a sticky coat on its carcass’s surface. If your food shows any sign, it’s high time you discarded it.

How Long Is Chicken Good After The Sell-By Date?

How Long Is Chicken Good After The Sell-By Date

The sell-by dates labeled on raw chicken essentially benefit the retailers, making it easier for them to determine when to remove the product from the shelf and dispose of it.

However, consumers can also rely on it to figure out when the meat is not safe to consume anymore.

In particular, the meat will provide the best quality before that day. After that, it’ll quickly degrade because germs start to build upon the surface.

If you’ve put it out from the fridge for over two weeks, throw it away since it’s not safe to consume anymore. After purchasing the food, you should refrigerate it if you don’t intend to use it right away.

The labeled sell-by dates might expire during the storage period, yet your meat will remain fresh and safe to consume since you’ve properly stored it.

Generally, consumers should use their meat products within 1-3 days when it’s still fresh before any concern of safety shows up. As mentioned, it’s always necessary to check the expiry dates before buying.

Many people suppose that cooking raw poultry past its expiry date is unsafe. However, the meat is still safe to cook or eat 1-2 days after that day goes past.

Can I Cook Chicken Two Weeks After the Sell-by Date?

How Long Is Chicken Good After The Sell-By Date

The sell-by dates on chicken are helpful to gauge quality, yet poultry and meat expiry dates don’t necessarily always affect your safety.

In essence, all foods can last for longer if you store them properly. However, remember that proteins usually come with sell-by dates rather than expiration or use-by dates.

You can safely consume them for a brief period after their sell-by dates lapse due to that distinction. When buying pre-packaged foods, many of you look for the so-called use-by, sell-by, or expiration date labeled on the package to evaluate freshness.

However, it’s confusing to understand what these dates mean correctly. Once you notice that the meat in your pantry or fridge has reached the expiry date, you will wonder if it’s necessary to throw the item away or if it’s still good to use.

As discussed, that label is for the merchant’s usage, so the staff or cashier knows when to eliminate or show it on the computer’s screen.

There’s a helpful tip to bear in mind. The meat color sometimes changes. As long as it doesn’t have stickiness or smell, and you buy it before the sell-by date, you can cook it even two weeks after purchasing.

But, if it’s sticky and smelling, it’s high time you dispose of it. If you’re unsure about anything, discard the food for the sake of safety.

How Long Can Raw Chicken Last in the Freezer?

Do you know: ” how long is chicken good for after sell by date? ’ To ensure the best texture, taste, and quality, you should store your chicken in the fridge for no more than one year, ground meat or giblets for 3-4 months, and parts for nine months.

Choose products marked within their use-by or sell-by dates. Overwrap them in lightweight plastic bags and knot them closed.

Remember to bag them separately from other foods, like vegetables and fresh fruits. When bagging the meat, you can estimate a pound of roasts and bone-in parts and ½ pound of chicken for an adult.

Concerning chicken broth, it’s possible to use it safely after the best by date as long as you store it properly. Also, we recommend storing it in a dark and cool place, far away from heat sources.

Simply put, if you keep your poultry frozen continuously, it’ll almost be safe indefinitely. Thus, even when the package date expires, there won’t be much to worry about.

How To Prolong The Shelf Life of Chicken?

Generally, uncooked poultry in the fridge can last for two days. Thus, you should use or freeze it right after purchasing.

Raw meat that has sat in the freezer for more than two days is something you never want to cope with, not to mention ingesting it. After all, the package date labeled on the food product leads you to the right path.

Please note that the terrible bugs and fungi that can get you sick, like E. coli, Yersinia, salmonella, or other pathogens, do not affect the flavor and smell of your chicken.

You won’t detect them or notice their presence until you receive the distressing message from your stomach, which signals that something is not OK.

There are a couple of ways to make your food last longer. First, if you suddenly want to change your dinner menu, just continue cooking the meat. After that, store the cooked chicken in the fridge.

It’s OK to store cooked poultry at a cool temperature for 3-4 days, allowing you much time to add it to another meal’s menu.

Some additional tips on freezing poultry include storing it in good-quality freezer bags or the original packaging.

Of course, all these tips apply to the case that you keep your chicken chilled throughout the cooking process.

That’s why when buying a food item, you should feel cool as you touch its package. Also, place it in the fridge right after you bring it home.

Regularly check your refrigerator’s temperature and ensure to set it at about 40 degrees F or below. The higher the temperature, the longer the food takes to deteriorate.


Chicken is broadly popular meat all over the globe due to its great proven nutritional value (over red meat) and health benefits, and relatively low price.

Raw chicken’s life span largely depends on various factors, including the preparation process, how you store it, and the sell-by date.

Keep it in mind to always serve your family the freshest, healthiest meals.