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Feb 29, 2008 04:21 AM

Is This Chicken Still OK?

So, I cooked up a whole chicken Sunday night, but haven't had time to boil it to make broth until tonight (Friday). Do you think it's still ok to cook down? It smells alright, but ever since getting food poison (from my own hand!) with chicken, I'm always a little wary.

Thank you!

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  1. In my house any food I cook goes in the garbage if not used after 3 days. Rarely happens, but I do not mess around with food safety just to save a few pennies.

    1 Reply
    1. re: swsidejim

      There was a similar discussion on another board recently.

      Several types of bacteria throw off spores/toxins that are heat resistant, so the notion that reheating old or contaminated food makes it safe to eat is not true.

      Keeping the chix in the fridge the whole time would slow the bacteria down but not prevent it from growing (and throwing off spores/toxins) completely.

      IMO that's too long, but my partner would both eat it and make soup from it if it's not gone past a week.

    2. That is totally your call, but I personally would eat it if it was refrigerated and less than 8 days...

      1. if you are going to make broth with it, it's not a food safety issue. the gentle boil should kill any bacteria. if it smells good and isn't slimy, i'd say go for it.

        4 Replies
          1. re: andytee

            If Staph grows and produces toxin boiling will not help.....

            1. re: Pollo

              i'm not going to get all scientific but if it smells good and isn't slimy, has already been cooked, and is going to be cooked at near boiling... well, i'd trust my senses. what would lead to staph contamination?

              1. re: andytee

                Staph you will find pretty much everywhere, they only growth their nice boil/cook resistant toxin under the right conditions. The example, you cook your chicken and take it out with a fork thats on the counter that your child put his hands still dirty from outside on. The Staph from the hands goes on the counter, on to the fork into the cooling or cool chick (which is a great place for reproduction). The chick goes into the fridge for 5 days where the staph grow slowly, but does produce the toxin. There is a great experiment using a red bacteria (serratia) that shows how easy things go from one place to another. Sadly it takes very little toxin to get one sick, but it usually takes a lot of bacteria to get food poisoning (ie... e.coli). The smell and slime is always a sure thing, but time and temperature are also helpful.

          2. If you're wary, toss it. Food poisoning ain't pleasant.

            1. The nose knows. The calendar doesn't.
              I have never figured out in decades of running a household why some things start to reek and get slimy after only a couple of days and other things are fine after a ridiculous amount of time.
              I have never poisoned any of the crowds that I feed and nobody has ever gotten sick or died from following the basic rule of exercising basic caution. If in doubt, throw it out.
              The statistics and science on things like staph (????), e coli, botulism, salmonella, etc. are such that basic good sense should guide you. Some of them are just bad luck. The food has them them when it comes into your kitchen on Day One and there's nothing you can do. I'm not going to spend my life in fetal position on the kitchen floor. Others are sanitation problems. Keep your kitchen clean.
              If your chicken smells fine, use it. Wasting is wrong and we throw away far too much in America. That does more harm to the environment than most things people get upset about.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MakingSense

                so true, in the not so olden days foodstuffs did not come with sell by's and use by's. We learnt to use our nose, hands and eyes, to buy smaller quantities and to use leftovers.