How do you know exactly if the chicken you’re buying is fresh? Use these 4 ways to check:
1. Look at the color of the flesh
Check the color of the chicken meat – be sure to check the crevices like the thighs and under the wings too.
If you’re seeing pink, the chicken is fresh. If the chicken looks grayish or transparent, it most likely has been sitting around for a while.
2. Feel the texture
Choose chicken flesh that’s firm and springy, indicating that it’s most likely fresh.
Avoid buying the chicken if the flesh is too stiff, or if it doesn’t spring back to its original shape when pressed with your finger.
3. Look out for bad odors
Fresh chicken does not have any odor. If you notice any unpleasant odors wafting from the chicken, it’s highly possible that it’s no longer fresh and should not end up in your basket.
4. See if there’s blood on cut parts
Blood isn’t a good sign, as it could indicate that the meat has been frozen and thawed a few times. Plus, blood in cut chicken pieces also increases the risk of bacterial contamination.
As raw chicken presents the risk of salmonella, it’s best to keep it fresh while you shop to minimize that risk
Ideally, fresh chicken should be stored below 4°C to minimize the chances of salmonella spreading, but they’re not always sold chilled. You could bring along a cooler pack to keep your chicken chilled while you shop.
If you’re buying chilled chicken from the supermarket, you could also grab other groceries first and the chicken last. This way, the chicken spends a much shorter time being out of the chiller.
Any tips on how to further prevent raw chicken from going bad?
There is one simple trick to ensuring your chicken does not quickly spoil: Fresh chicken must be kept cold, so don’t ever let it sit out on the counter, table, or anywhere that isn’t refrigerated.
“This will extend its shelf life and prevent the growth of bacteria. According to the USDA, raw chicken will only keep in the refrigerator for about one to two days, “If kept in the freezer, it should stay safe to thaw and eat for up to nine to 12 months.”