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Oct 28, 2004 04:59 PM

I REALLY Messed Up--Chicken Expired Question......

  • f

This week was so crazy that I didn't notice that my 10 pounds of vacuum-packed Foster Farms chicken breasts from Costco expired 2 days ago! (10/26 use or freeze by date).

If I open it up and it stills smells okay, should I use it, or should I discard it....and cry.

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    1. re: BBK

      Lots of people get sick from eating foods that smell and taste wonderful. Some foods that smell horrible (some cheeses, stinky tofu, natto) are fine to eat. I disagree with the idea that the nose is a reliable detector of things that could harm you.


      1. re: Tom Meg

        True...I just spent three weeks recovering from salmonella contracted from a dish that looked, SMELLED, and tasted great.....


        1. re: galleygirl

          Yes, but cooking raw chicken until it is done will take care of that problem.

          1. re: Candy

            True, but it certainly opens one's eyes to the whole plethora of food born diseases out there.


        2. re: Tom Meg

          I think the point was to trust your nose when smelling raw chicken -- of course there are conundrums in the "foodisphere" where things that smell pungent taste good and things that smell good are actually bad for you. When preparing food from scratch, though, I think anyone who cooks on a regular basis can tell generally when something (like milk, or eggs, or chicken) has gone off, and when it's still okay to use. In other words, trust your own judgement.

          1. re: DanaB

            Of course if raw chicken smells bad, then it is bad. But it doesn't necessarily follow that if it doesn't smell bad then it's perfectly safe.


      2. It is fine if it still smells good. But use it or freeze it now.

        1. Do not risk the chance of any problem with chicken. The great thing about costco is you can return anything, no questions asked. Just put them in your freezer, find your receipt, and bring them back when you can, and tell them you didn't like the smell of them that was coming from the package, and you want to return them. Once I was in line in Costco, and this guy returned a package of steaks with just the bones in it, and he said the steak was tough as nails, and wanted a refund. Clerk said no problem. I laughed about it. But, you know sometimes, these things happen, and that is why you pay a membership fee because yes, you can get bad product, but sometimes, you just may not like something you get for any reason. I have returned many things half empty that I didn't like or didn't taste so fresh. I have never had a problem for any return.

          Just don't take a chance, especially with chicken. It's not worth it. Good luck!

          7 Replies
          1. re: Janie

            I find that very unethical. It is not Costco's fault that someone did not pay attention to the sell by date. And that is a sell by date not a use by date. The chicken probably has several good days to go. Doing stuff like that just leads to increases in prices for all of us. They are operating on a small profit margin and people pulling stunts like that and abusing easy return policies hurt all of us.

            If the chicken smells fine then it is fine. As i said earlier, cook it or freeze it.

            1. re: Candy

              I've bought things with sell by dates, and they're already spoiled probably from not being stored properly. Let the poster decide for herself what to do, I don't think Costco will collapse if she returns her chicken breasts. I wasn't advocating doing it in excess, oh please, save your ethical preachy nonsense, and apply it to something more meaningful than costco. I was just trying to be helpful to the poster.

              1. re: Janie

                No! It is wrong and cheating. That is shameful.

                1. re: Candy

                  Wow, I hope to one day live my life so virtuously, that I am able to judge others so uncompromisingly.


                  1. re: galleygirl

                    Thank you all for your feedback!

                    (Let's not digress--I love a friendly & generous envrironment for sharing :) )

            2. re: Janie

              While I agree that one should not take chances with chicken, I find your idea of returning it dishonest. I'll bet you would say shoplifting is wrong - wouldn't you? Isn't this morally the same thing? It's stealing from the store.

              You'd probably be the first person to shout "stop!" if you were overcharged for something. How can you find it so easy to turn around and say "gimme" when it suits you?

              1. re: Jeanette

                Let's just move on, please.

            3. There is quite a bit of leaway on the "sell-by" and "eat by" date. Usually, a few days are OK before freezing. As the others say, if it smells OK, it is usually OK.

              1. Well, live and learn...the chicken smelled "off".

                This was a first for me (losing track of the expiration date).

                Next time I'll write a note on my calender when I buy a large quantity of meat so this doesn't happen again!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Funwithfood

                  That was a sell by date. You are fine. Cook or freeze. You have several days after the sell by date to use it and always as the first poster said, thre nose knows.

                  1. re: Candy

                    Actually it was a "use or freeze by" date (smelled yucky too).

                    Well, I certainly learned from this one!

                    1. re: Funwithfood

                      Sorry to hear about the spoilage--I hate when that happens!! Now I'm a bit curious about what we'd learn if we did a weekly inventory of what hounds toss out of their fridge...

                      Anyhow, your calendar method might work; however, what I have found to work best for me is to immediately throw meat into the freezer if I don't have any CERTAIN plans to use it. Once I decide to use it, I never have a problem remembering to defrost it--it's usually more difficult to remember to move it upstairs once it's lost in the jungle that is my fridge.