In a survey it was reported that around 60% of the world’s population belongs to the non- vegetarian category. Although it is undeniable that the number of people turning vegan and vegetarian is rising gradually. But there are still scores of people who would love to have well cooked chicken as their dinner. When it comes to non-vegetarian food, there is a variety of dishes offered but chicken is the most preferred one. So it becomes important to know how long is cooked chicken good for in the fridge?
WHY IS CHICKEN SO POPULAR?
Chicken is, without a doubt, the most preferred kind of meat. There are several reasons behind the popularity of chicken , apart from the delicious taste. Chicken is rich in protein and low in fat and bad cholesterol. It’s also loaded with iron, zinc, vitamin b and other such essential vitamins. With low calorific value chicken is the best food supplement for those deprived of protein.
“Fitness freak” is the new talk of the town. People pay more attention to their health and body built these days. Those who take gym and work out seriously prefer a proper protein and calorie intake and hence they chose chicken and boiled eggs as their main source of diet. Also chicken is easily digestible as compared to other complex non-vegetarian food items.
WHY MICROBES LOVE CHICKENS?
Bacteria and other pathogens look for warm and damp places to grow. There are some pathogens that specifically target meat. Chicken, when raw, is kept in the freezer to avoid the growth of such pathogens. Salmonella is one such bacteria that attack poultry and meat. These pathogens secret several toxins that cause contamination of food. When such food is eaten by people they succumb to food borne diseases and illness. So before asking how long is cooked chicken good for in the fridge one should check for the possible contaminations.
HOW LONG IS COOKED CHICKEN GOOD FOR IN THE FRIDGE?
As per the findings of various food related agencies like USDA raw chicken can last for 2-3 days in the fridge and if cooked then it can last for 3-4 days in the fridge. After that the taste and odour may begin to deteriorate. If you want to store the chicken for a long duration it is advised to put it in the freezer. If a poultry let’s say turkey, as a whole, is placed in the freeze it can last for nearly a year. If cooked chicken is kept in an airtight container and placed in the freezer it can last for 3-4 months and even more.
If you have purchased packed chicken you should not store it more than the date of expiration mentioned at the packet.
STORE YOUR MEAL PROPERLY
If you put the chicken in the fridge simply in a plate without covering it, other edibles in the fridge will be affected by the taste and odour of the chicken and the opposite can happen as well. How long is cooked chicken good for in the fridge depends upon how well you store it
- Always use airtight containers to store the chicken
- Wrapping the chicken in aluminium foil and then storing it in airtight container will increase the shelf life of your meal
- Cooking method also affects the shelf life. If the chicken is poorly cooked or is half cooked it will spoil more quickly
- Freezing conditions like the temperature and how frequently the fridge door is used also plays an important role. Most suitable temperature is between 0°C – 5°C.
- While keeping the chicken in the freezer, always cover it with a lid. If left uncovered it may result in crystal formation inside the chicken. This will not affect the raw chicken but the taste of cooked chicken will be deteriorated.
- Use ziplock pouches to store chicken
- Put the chicken in a separate compartment to avoid cross contamination
- If the food was left out at room temperature for a longer duration then don’t store it as there is a possibility of it being contaminated already.
There are people who are fond of food and would love to try every possible cuisine but we should always check for contamination before consuming our meal. Once the chicken is contaminated it won’t become edible even if you put it in the fridge. In that case keep a stone on the heart and throw it away. There are tons of people who get food poisoned every year by consuming contaminated food. Raw chicken if kept in the freezer will remain for a longer duration but once cooked it is better to eat it within 1-2 days.