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Jul 18, 2008 08:02 PM

Chicken soup refrigeration

I'm trying to clear up a question/debate I'm having with a friend. She asked me how long I would keep chicken soup refrigerated for before throwing it out. I said 4-5 days. She says 2 days in the refrigerator due to risks of bacteria (she based this on info from someone who told her this and then read it somewhere on the internet). I've searched the internet and some sources say 2 days, some say 3-4. Does anyone have any input on this?

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  1. I think 4 days should be fine, as long as you bring the soup to a full rolling boil for 4 minutes before serving.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      Why 4 minutes? Once it comes to a boil you've killed anything.

      1. re: jlbwendt

        It is standard restaurant practice to bring refrigerated stocks to a full rolling boil for 2-4 minutes to kill any pathogens that might have taken up residence.

        Those 120 to 240 seconds are cheap insurance to prevent food poisoning. IMVHO

        1. re: Kelli2006

          Standard restaurant practice?
          My county health dept. (Seattle) and ServSafe require that anything being reheated must hit 165F for at least 15 seconds, and that is over the course of 2 hours.

          Are they wrong?

    2. 4 days is fine. But take the onions out soon after you make the soup.

      1. Two points: First, the real issue with refrigerated chicken soup or stock is on the front end of the process. If you are cooling anywhere near a quart or more, it needs to be chilled BEFORE storing in the fridge. Otherwise it is too warm to start, thus warming the surrounding air, thereby slowing the chilling even more. So before storing the soup in the ice box, put a good layer or two of ice in a bowl bigger than the soup pan and chill down first. Second, I think two or at the very most three days in the refrigerator is as long as I'd risk. Otherwise, even if the soup isn't unhealthy, it has soured. If you aren't sure you are going to use it in two days, go ahead and freeze it (again after chilling it down first). Then it can be easily defrosted either in its container in a pot of warm water or in the microwave. Better to be safe than sorry and wasteful.