When Buying Chicken, Pay Attention To The Color Inside The Package

If you cook with raw meat, then you've probably worried plenty of times about accidentally ingesting chicken that has gone bad or spoiled. While it's unlikely that your local grocery store will be selling chicken that has already gone bad, it doesn't hurt to know what the signs of bad chicken are. Luckily, it's quite easy to tell if a particular package of chicken is fresh and a good buy. Of course, the first thing that you should do is look at the "best by" or "sell by" date on the package to make sure that it hasn't passed. After you've checked the date, the next important thing to do is to look at the color inside the package.

The color of raw chicken can tell you a lot about its freshness. Fresh chicken will be pink — very likely the color that comes to mind when you think of raw chicken — whereas chicken that has gone bad will be gray or even green in color and overall dull-looking. Additionally, the fat of the chicken should be white — whereas if the chicken is going bad, the fat will appear yellow.

Other signs to look for to make sure that your chicken is fresh

When you're looking at an unopened package of chicken, the coloring of the meat is definitely the best way to look for signs of spoilage. But what if you buy the chicken, then need to make sure it's still fresh when it comes time to cook it? Aside from the color, there are other ways to tell if the raw chicken may not be good to eat anymore.

Smell is another great way to check for freshness — bad chicken will have a foul, sour-like smell to it, possibly similar to rotten eggs. Really, if you have any doubt that the chicken doesn't smell the way that it's supposed to, then it's probably best not to risk it. Additionally, the texture can be a tell-tale sign as well. Namely, look out for a filmy layer on the top of the chicken, as well as a slimy or slippery feel — that means that it's gone bad.

Seeing any of these warning signs is reason enough to throw out the chicken. For example, if you notice that filmy layer, but it happens to still smell fine, you should still throw it out to be safe. The last thing you want is to give yourself food poisoning, especially when looking for signs of spoilage is such an easy task.

After all, if you give yourself a bad experience with chicken, you may never be tempted to make it again — and you'll miss out on a ton of delicious chicken recipes.