Nothing’s worse than prepping up a classic grilled chicken with mushroom sauce and a side of grilled veggies, and finding out after all the hard work and time you have put in that the chicken you used, had gone bad. And since rotten chicken is no better than garbage, it is obvious that you will have to chuck it out.
If you have ever experienced this, you will know better to check your chicken before you start to cook it.
But how would you know, that it’s a spoiled chicken?
Ways to tell if Chicken is Bad
Before we learn how to tell if chicken is bad, let’s look at the stages of chicken first.
In case, of Raw Chicken, here’s how to determine if it has gone bad:
1. Look for the ‘Best before date’
When it comes to any product, chicken or otherwise, the first thing one should look for is the details on its package. Ingredients, in case you have any allergies to certain things and the best before date in order to determine its freshness and whether or not it has expired.
Also, chicken has a very short shelf life. It is recommended not to store it at room temperature or higher. It can last only up to 3 days in a fridge and up to 4 months, frozen in a freezer.
2. The sight test
Observe the chicken thoroughly. Look for anything fishy. From its color to any moldy growth. A fresh piece of chicken is light pink in color, however the one that has gone stale starts turning gray. You may also find yellow spots over the white fat, if it has started rotting.
3. The smell test
The first unusual thing you will find about the chicken, if it has gone bad, is its smell. A rotten chicken, smells horrendous! Smelling it through the packaging might not help enough, so you will have to open it up, and then take a whiff, in order to be sure. And I must add, it will be a task you will never want to do again.
4. The touch test
A chicken gone bad, should feel slimy even after being washed thoroughly. It may be oozing a weird mucus like liquid and that should be the last straw! Not only should you chuck it in the bin but also scrub your hands thoroughly, because they have unforeseen bacterial growth that may cause you a trip to the hospital. Better be careful than lay in bed with a cringing stomach ache, right?
Determining if Cooked Chicken has Gone ad
A cooked chicken has a longer shelf life than raw. It can be kept for around a year in a freezer, however its taste may not be as good as fresh, after 6 months. But sometimes, even cooked chicken can go bad, if not stored properly. So before you fill your growling tummy with it, here’s how to check if it has gone bad.
1. The smell taste
To determine if the chicken has rotten, it is essential to put your nose to test, first. Just like raw chicken, cooked chicken will also have a distinct odor. But sometimes, in case of cooked chicken it can be concealed by the spices and herbs used to cook the chicken. So it may get a bit difficult but sniff, sniff and sniff, before you decide to eat.
2. Check for color and mold
Now a color change in raw chicken can very easily be detected. But it can a get a bit difficult in case of cooked chicken. But not impossible. Put your eyes to test, and check for any molds, or color defects that may have not been there earlier (when it was freshly cooked). Another way is to, cut it up and check for a color change in the white, inside part.
3. Put your taste buds to test
A bad chicken breast will obviously, also taste bad. So take a tiny portion and taste it. If it tastes weird, even slightly, don’t dare swallow it and spit it out, immediately. Because trust me, chicken gone bad, is not worth one bit. Make sure to rinse your mouth and gargle.
Here’s how to tell if Frozen Chicken is Bad
Yes, frozen chicken too can go bad. So make sure you check it thoroughly, before popping it to cook. And here’s how you can do it.
1. Smell test
Smell is the best sense. I would have had food poisoning every month had I not inherited a strong sense of smell from my grandmother. Smell for any odd odor or stink. Since rotten chicken smells pretty bad, it is easy to determine if its gone bad but seldom at times, a frozen rotten chicken doesn’t stink as bad, so you will have to defrost it to make sure it’s stink free.
2. Look for sliminess
When frozen, it is almost impossible to detect the texture of the chicken, obviously. So thaw it and check if it feels even the slightest bit slimy. If it does, throw it straight in the bin and make sure to scrub your hands as well as the utensils used while testing.
Raw Chicken Smells Like Eggs – to toss it or not?
If you have smelled a fresh chicken, it almost has no smell. But if it has started to deteriorate, it will probably start stinking like an egg, which has a distinct but not as bad a smell. This is just the beginning. As soon as the chicken rots completely, it smells like rotten eggs, which we all know is the worst smell!!
So the answer obviously is, TOSS IT AWAY!
What Happens if You Eat Bad Chicken?
It will cause the worst type of food poisoning. Period.
Raw or rotten chicken has bacteria that can cause havoc in your digestive system. The symptoms start to begin, 24 to 48 hours, after the consumption of bad chicken. Which include severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, pain in the abdomen along with an onset of fever.
This may last for a couple days, to a few weeks, depending upon the severity of your condition.
Where treatments are readily available, some severe cases are treated in a hospital.
Children, pregnant women, old age people, cancer patients are more at risk of getting severe food poison due to bad chicken, due to their weakened immune systems.
So before you buy or prep that chicken, make sure its good and healthy. Also make sure to cook it at the right temperature and for the right number of minutes and you are good to GO!