HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Chicken expiration?

Hi I bought some Perdue chicken (leg quarters) on Saturday, the sell by date is 8/19, doesn't that seem like too long of a time?

I want to wait to cook them until tomorrow but not sure I should wait that long even if the exp date is 8/19


Thanks :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Take them out of the package and smell them hard. If they smell ok, brine them lightly and cook them thoroughly tomorrow. I'm assuming they have been kept very cold since purchase.

    1. Assuming you've stored them properly they should be fine until the 19th and a couple days beyond.

        1. Like everyone said, your nose can give you some hints and your fingers too. If the chicken feels overly slimy, then it is a no for me.

          If the expiration date is 8/19, then you should be perfectly fine.

          1. As you typed above, that's the SELL BY date, not the "You'll die if you keep it longer than" date. You may want to loosen the plastic wrap so some air can circulate, but you have another week to safely cook and eat it, assuming it's not stinky and slimy. Even then, if you rinsed it and thoroughly cooked it, you would not be unsafe. By the way, refrigerating raw chicken uncovered for 12-24 hours dries the skin somewhat, which makes it crisper when roasted or baked.

            1. I"m going to piggy back on your topic a bit, please forgive me, but I have encountered chicken before that (even if it's well before a sell by date) smells like eggs.

              I can't bear to eat it when I've encountered this and just chuck all the chicken.

              Obviously, there are chicken/egg questions here, but it just doesn't seem to me that chicken meat should have that eggy smell.

              Am I being overly sensitive?

              7 Replies
              1. re: Violatp

                1) chicken meat should not have that eggy smell, you are NOT being overly sensitive

                2) sometimes the "sell by" date seems to be VERY far in the future because some of these supposed "fresh" chickens have actually been virtually frozen while en route to the store and while at the store prior to being put out on display.

                there was a big flap years ago about letting the stores get away with calling these frozen birds "fresh" after thawing them.
                iirc, wolfgang puck himself went to washington d.c. to testify that the stores should not be ALLOWED to call these frozen birds "fresh" just because they had thawed the birds before putting them out for sale. iirc the stores won and they have been allowed to sell these hard-as-a-rock birds as "fresh".

                1. re: westsidegal

                  A lot of times they've been injected with a saline solution that not only increases the weight by adding water, but acts as a preservative as well.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    In the US any poultry (or meat for that matter) MUST state on the label if saline solution has been injected in the meat. To imply otherwise is misleading.

                    If the the label does not state so, the product was not injected with a brine solution.

                    None of the poultry sold in the markets I patronize sells saline-injected chicken. Walmart sells it, but I don't buy chicken there.

                    1. re: janniecooks

                      if you buy ANY jennie O turkey products, they have ALL been injected with solutions that they have deemed to label as "seasoning."

                      when i was cooking for a person on dialysis i called Jennie O to confirm that their products contained no added sodium.
                      they told me in no uncertain terms that they carried NO products that didn't have added sodium and that NONE of their products were appropriate for someone trying to limit sodium.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Perdue chickens - whole fryers, oven stuffer roasters, parts - have no "seasoning" or injected solutions. My local grocery store brand chickens have no additives. Murray's poultry products have no additives, neither "seasoning" nor injected solutions.

                        Just because all Jennie O products have "seasonings" (which are CLEARLY stated on the label) doesn't mean all poultry has additives.

                        The majority of poultry sold in most grocery stores have no added sodium.

                        It's actually very easy to find pure, unadulterated, poultry products. Just go for the whole bird. And read the label.

                        Additives must be labeled. It is irresponsible to imply otherwise.

                2. re: Violatp

                  There's a lot of sulfur in meats. I am pretty sure that's what you are smelling, and you are throwing away wholesome food. Raw lamb, for example, can also have a strong odor when first unwrapped. That's lamb - nothing wrong with it, or with the taste once it's cooked. Here is an old thread on stinky cooked chicken, but raw, and the reasons, are also discussed: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3936...

                  You do realize, I hope, that for most of human history there was no refrigeration and for the most part, no ice other than in cold weather, so raw and cooked meats were kept at ambient home temperature or at best a below-ground cellar.
                  The human population processed it all and kept going long enough to produce you.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Of course, I realize that, but it's not all chicken that has that smell. If it was something I was used to, that would be one thing. But when meat smells off to me, whether it's wholesome or not, I don't concern myself with that as much as if I'm able to eat it without my stomach churning from off smells.

                3. thanks !

                  I didn't cook it today but thankfully I have something else for tomorrow's dinner if it smells "fowl" when I unwrap it


                  1. Not sure what Perdue chicken is and whether that has any bearing on keeping qualities.
                    However, I regularly buy fresh chicken and find that it can be kept in the fridge for 2 or 3 days tops. (I'm talking kosher chicken so it has already been "brined.")

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: almond tree

                      Perdue is a huge company that is ruining Maryland's Eastern Shore and dumping tons of pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay to produce cheap, flavorless chicken to be sold in grocery stores and bad restaurants. They're the reason I didn't like chicken until I started buying free range birds from small producers and realized that it could actually taste like something.

                        1. re: janniecooks

                          <<As of 2005, Perdue Farms is the third-largest American producer of broilers (chickens for eating), annually producing 59,320,000 pounds of ready-to-cook broiler meat.

                          In 2010, the corporate structure of Perdue Farms changed. A holding company, FPP Family Investments, Inc., owned by the Perdue family, became the controlling entity for Perdue Farms. The holding company also owns Perdue AgriBusiness, a grain operation; FPP Business Services, a shared business services company; and Coleman Natural Foods.

                          Oher subsidiaries include Heritage Breeders, LLC, which is responsible for developing the breed used by Perdue, and developing other lines of stock for sale to other poultry companies; Venture Milling, which creates proteins for livestock; Perdue Fats and Proteins, LLC, which sells pet and animal feed ingredients; Perdue BioEnergy, LLC, which works in the field of renewable energies; and Perdue AgriRecycle, which converts poultry litter into organic fertilizer products.]>>

                      1. Basically, Harlan Sanders said it all when he used to proclaim

                        Always Fresh, Never Frozen!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Tripeler

                          of course, our government has decided that a bird could be frozen hard as a rock and still be labeled "fresh," so what does that mean?

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Of course, Ol' Harlan said this back in the sixties, when there WAS a difference between fresh and frozen.

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              Hard as a rock "fresh" chicken has always makes me wonder, but according to the USDA, "fresh" is when a processed chicken has never seen temps below +26F.

                            1. Dates on food are a bit of a pet peeve for me. A "best by" date does NOT mean food EXPIRES after that time! Once stocked up on some bottled salad dressings when on sale. They lingered well past the BB dates. ANything that was a vinegarette type... fine. Anything creamy... didn't go bad but had a bit of a stale taste.

                              As for things like meat/chicken/milk... think there are some kinda FDA "rules" out there somewhere. Those items have SELL BY dates on them. If properly handle by supermarket, and then by person buying them, should be fine for a few days in fridge with no concerns.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: kseiverd

                                I would be a lot more flexible about bypassing the expiry date on bottled salad dressings than on fresh poultry.

                                1. re: almond tree

                                  I'd tend to agree, but the expiry date is more than a week aways.

                                  1. re: JonParker

                                    Right - in the case of the OP (tho I still wonder how it's feasible to keep "fresh" chicken for a week and a half at fridge temp). But here I was replying to kseveird's general comment.

                              2. Does anyone know when food package dating became standard practice? I'm in my 60's and know that I was an adult with a home of my own, cooking my own meals, for some years before labels included dates. We knew that bulging cans, and cans and bottles (other than carbonated drinks) that fizzed when opened were to be discarded. Beyond that, we went by color, smell, and texture, which are still the criteria in less developed regions of the world.

                                1. Like I've said before and elsewhere on this site, I read "Sell By" (or "Best By" or "Use By") dates like I do Horoscopes.

                                  It's for entertainment purposes only.

                                  Why? Because those dates are only really meaningful if the product in question has been handled properly. While chances are the supplier, delivery person(s), and ultimate seller has properly handled the product in question, there are many instances where a product could be "tampered" with unknowingly.

                                  For example, ever see a package of stray packaged chicken lying around the cereal aisle of your supermarket? Y'know, cuz some customer wanted to make chicken for dinner, but then decided that dry cereal was going to be a better bet that night? Who knows how long that package of chicken has been sitting on that shelf for, unrefrigerated.

                                  So while an unadulterated package of food with a "__ By" date will be *generally* as good as advertised by that date, you have to assume A LOT for that to happen.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    I have never seen a package of chicken in the cereal aisle, or any other aisle for that matter.

                                  2. Oops, sorry. I thought that you were talking about "chicken EXPLOITATION." My bad.


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      That is a good topic. We should answer on that one. What do you think of all the chicken exploitation these days? Eating their eggs and their meat? So cruel

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I am against "chicken exploitation," but think that if we break the little birds out, and turn them loose, the foxes and coyotes will just eat them - why can't they all just get along?