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At What Temperature Would Stored Raw Chicken Become Safe to Eat?

The temperature at which a raw chicken is safe for consumption must be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If it reaches 40 degrees, bacteria will multiply much more rapidly. It is vital to store chicken in a refrigerator or freezer immediately after purchase. You can find more information about the safe storage of chicken at the USDA website.

stored raw chicken

After purchasing a fresh chicken, you must store it properly. A raw chicken should never sit at room temperature for more than two hours. This is because it can grow bacteria and be contaminated. Always wash your hands after handling raw meat, as bacteria can proliferate. The best way to store raw chicken is in the fridge or freezer. Once it is thawed, you should be able to cook it. You can also check the chicken’s doneness by using a meat thermometer.

At What Temperature Would Stored Raw Chicken be Safe to Eat?

Cooking chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the best way to ensure it is safe to eat. This destroys any bacteria on the raw flesh, including salmonella. Checking the temperature of cooked chicken by looking at its color is not a reliable method, so always use a food thermometer.
The chicken should be refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours of cooking. Cooked chicken should be consumed within 3-4 days of preparation.

It’s also a good idea to avoid rinsing raw poultry. And this does not remove bacteria and can spread it throughout your sink, surfaces, and onto other foods. Cooking your chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the best way to destroy pathogens and ensure it is safe to eat.

Raw chicken should not be left out for more than two hours. Bacteria can quickly increase at room temperature, making the food dangerous to consume. It would help if you thought about the safety of the chicken you buy and the risk of food poisoning. Raw chicken should not be kept out of the fridge for more than an hour or two since it will dry out. It’s also a good idea to keep the raw chicken in the fridge for no more than one hour before cooking it.

What Safety Should We Use in Storing, Handling, and Cooking Chicken?

Here are some essential points that should always be used while handling chicken:

Shopping for Chicken

  • When shopping, pick up your chicken last, so it doesn’t sit in your cart for an extended period at room temperature. Also, if you’re running errands, delay your grocery shopping until last to avoid leaving chicken and other foods in a hot car.
  • Once home with your chicken, refrigerate it immediately. At room temperature, the quality and safety of fresh chicken are quickly compromised. Never let it sit out on the countertop — even if you plan to make it for that night’s
    dinner.

Serving Chicken

  • When transporting chicken, use an insulated container or cooler with ice until dinner is served.
  • When grilling or barbecuing outdoors, keep chicken refrigerated until ready to cook.
  • Do not place cooked chicken on the same plate used to transport the raw chicken to the grill (unless it’s been washed in hot, soapy water).
  • Never put marinades or sauces used on raw chicken on cooked foods.

Storing Chicken

  • Packaged, raw chicken can be refrigerated in its original wrapping in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 48 hours after purchase. If it is not to be used in 48 hours, freezing is recommended.
  • Refrigerate cooked, cut-up chicken for two days or less; whole, cooked chicken for three days or less.
  • Fresh, uncooked chicken should be kept on the lowest level of the refrigerator to avoid dripping on other foods.
  • Wrap individual pieces in foil or plastic bags for convenience and avoid freezer burn. Then, place all wrapped or bagged pieces in a giant freezer bag or foil wrap. Remove any air from the bag/foil container and label it with the contents and the date it was frozen.
  • Storage Temps: Refrigerator 40° F; Freezer 0° F

Thawing Chicken

There are three ways to thaw chicken, listed below in order of the preferred method and time needed. You’ll know the chicken is thawed when it feels soft, moist, and cold — not hard and stiff.

  • Refrigerator: If you have the time, this is the best technique. Keep your chicken in the fridge rather than on the kitchen counter. A 4-pound entire chicken takes about 24 hours to thaw in the refrigerator; cut-up portions need 3 to 9 hours.
  • Place the chicken in cold water: in its original wrap or a waterproof plastic bag; change the water every 30 minutes. It will take around 2 hours to thaw a 4-pound entire chicken.
  • Microwave: Use the microwave to thaw chicken (raw or cooked) quickly. The length of time it takes for the chicken to thaw depends on how it was frozen (whole or parts, number of parts frozen together, etc.). Set the oven to Defrost or Medium-Low. Microwave for 2 minutes, then set aside for 2 minutes. If necessary, repeat the process. As the chicken thaws, turn it and separate the portions. Ensure that the chicken does not begin to cook.

Cooking Chicken and Handling Leftover

  • Always test for doneness using an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roasting chicken (breast or thigh). Be sure that the thermometer probe does not touch the bone.
  • The chicken should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Bring the temperature of the chicken to 180°F for more soft meat.
  • Don’t leave cooked chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Either keep it hot (140° to 165°F) or refrigerate it at 40°F or below.

Is Raw Chicken OK in the Fridge For Five Days?

raw chicken

Cooked chicken lasts 3–4 days in the fridge, but raw chicken lasts 1–2 days. Check the “best if used by” date and look for symptoms of spoilage such as changes in smell, texture, and color to see if the chicken has gone wrong. Even if you cook it properly, don’t consume ruined chicken because it can induce food illness.
After purchasing chicken, it should be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days; the “sell-by” date on the package may expire, but the chicken should be safe to eat after that date if properly stored.

If vacuum-sealed chicken is kept in the right conditions in the fridge, it can survive up to two weeks. This is for cooked chicken, which only lasts three to four days in the fridge if not stored in a vacuum-sealed container.
Raw vacuum-sealed chicken does not last as long as cooked chicken and should be consumed within four to five days, and this is twice as long as the FDA recommends for raw chicken that hasn’t been vacuum-sealed, one to two days.

You can increase the shelf life of chicken by vacuum packaging it, but don’t rely on it too much, or you’ll get food poisoning. Although vacuum sealing slows the spread of bacteria, it doesn’t prevent it, and bacteria will still increase within the meat if given enough time.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that bacteria multiply quickly at temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. While these temperatures may be considered safe for the raw chicken to eat, they can only be safely held for a short time. Even if the meat is not cooked, it will still contain bacteria and toxins that can make you sick. This is especially true for chicken if it’s undercooked.

Regardless of how long you keep chicken in the fridge, it should be kept from the sun. Leaving raw chicken out for too long can spoilage and affect the taste. While it may look pink and moist, it will soon turn brown and grey. If it changes color and starts to smell bad, you should toss it out. The chicken must also be pale and white and should not have a sulfur-like odor.

The USDA recommends that raw chicken be frozen for two days, sufficient to keep chicken fresh for nine months. During this time, the chicken should be kept at temperatures below zero degrees. However, many household freezers are constantly opened and closed, causing the temperature to fluctuate, exposing raw chicken to bacteria.