Is there any way to salvage raw chicken that may have already spoiled?
Basically, if it’s gone bad, your best bet is to just throw it out.
“Chicken is usually still good slightly past its expiration date, as long as it doesn’t smell bad,” says Sidoti. “However, it’s usually safe to just toss it. You put yourself at serious risk of getting sick.”
Note: The expiration date may also be labeled as the “sell by” date. Make sure to only buy chicken before that projected date to ensure the most safety.
What about cooked chicken—about how long does it last in the refrigerator?
“According to the USDA, cooked chicken stored in the refrigerator is safe to eat for three to four days if it is properly stored,” says Sidoti. “If you want to further extend shelf life, you can store it in the freezer where it will last for about three months. Once stored in the freezer, take it out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge.”
The big takeaway: Don’t let that cooked meat hang out in the fridge for a week! You can tell if cooked chicken has gone bad if it gives off a rancid odor or is beginning to look grey. Once again, trust your senses.