How To Tell If Chicken Salad Has Gone Bad

Everyone has a favorite recipe for chicken salad with their own preferred ingredients and ratios. Whether you're serving it as a side or throwing it into a sandwich, chicken salad is a delicious and versatile dish that works with most any meal of the day.

Because of the variability in different chicken salad recipes, it can be hard initially to tell if yours has gone bad. However, there are some universal signs you can look for to know if you should ditch the salad. 

If you see mold or any kind of growth on your chicken salad, or it has an off color, it's probably safest to throw it away. The most prominent sign of trash-ready salad will be the smell; Chicken salad that has gone bad will smell off and should be discarded immediately, per eHow. Do not taste to see if your chicken salad has reached its expiration date. If you have some suspicions and are still not sure after careful examination and smelling, it's best to just trust your gut (figuratively not literally) and toss it.

How to make your chicken salad last

Typically, chicken salads include a variety of vegetables, some kind of binding agent like mayo or aioli, and of course chicken; Unfortunately this combination of ingredients does not last too long. According to Still Tasty, chicken salad that has been left out for two hours or more at room temperature can harbor harmful bacteria and should be discarded.

In the fridge however, chicken salad that is properly sealed will last for three to five days, and of course all of these factors can vary depending on the specific ingredients you have in the chicken salad. Again, it is important to carefully inspect the looks and smell of your chicken salad before eating it or using it in a recipe. Food poisoning — unlike chicken salad — is no fun at all. 

If you have consumed some chicken salad or any other food you are unsure about, make sure to monitor yourself for symptoms and get in touch with health care professionals if the situation worsens.