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How long can I keep defrosted chicken breasts in the fridge?

I often buy those big trays of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts from Sam's Club and stick them right in the freezer. Then on a Sunday night I defrost them in the sink. When they are sufficiently defrosted I put them into the fridge for use throughout the week. Often I will marinate the chicken for a couple days.

My question is: Is this all safe?

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  1. Just me, and I'm fussy about this stuff, but once I defrost them, within 48 hours at the outside. I feel most comfortable when I cook them within 24 hours after defrosting.

    1. Have you gotten sick?

      Personally, I agree with Steady Habits. I would cook within 48 hours max. But, if you've been doing this for awhile and haven't gotten sick, then I guess you're fine!

      1. I agree with the previous posters, they don't keep long, certainly one week in the fridge is more than I'm comfortable with. Why not break up big tray into smaller packages before you freeze them? Much safer.

        1. Ditto here - no more than two days once defrosted. I second the recommendation to make individual packets before freezing - plus they'll last longer in the freezer and be less subject to freezer burn if each is closely wrapped in plastic.

          1. first off defrost meats in the refrigerator not in the sink or on the counter.

            1. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/f...

              See section under "safe thawing" "storage times" & "marinating"

              Others have given some great suggestions. I tend to think we are on the extreme side of careful. But, is it worth getting sick over? Only you can decide how safe is safe enough taking into account your health history and your convenience :)

              1. Sounds ok to me, especially if you're using salty and acidic marinades (as you should be, for flavor) . Just give it the ol' smell test every time.

                1. No, it's not safe. If you thawed the chicken in the refrigerator, you don't have to cook it right away.

                  Poultry that’s been defrosted in the fridge can be safely kept for an additional one to two days in the refrigerator before cooking, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You also can safely refreeze it within that same timeframe.

                  On the other hand, if you thawed the chicken in the microwave or in cold water, the USDA advises that you cook it immediately.

                  That’s because with either method, the chicken could have at least temporarily warmed up to a temperature higher than 40°F. At that point, harmful bacteria can begin to multiply rapidly and prompt cooking is required to destroy it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: angvass

                    the op is 6 years old. either he/she has died from eating poorly thawed chicken or has gotten sufficient info on safer practices.

                  2. The questionable part of your method is the defrosting in the sink.
                    Do you marinade all the breast at the same time?

                    Depending upon your marinade, I can see the chicken breast lasting 4 to 5 days.

                    Another approach is to defrost in the fridge where you defrost what you need for a two days. However, if your plan is to marinade the breast all at the same time then stick with what you're doing.