How Long Can You Store Cooked Chicken In The Refrigerator?

Chances are, you've probably cooked chicken at least once. Anyone familiar with handling raw or cooked chicken knows that safely storing poultry at the proper temperature is important. This ensures the meat remains safe for consumption and prevents foodborne illness.

Chicken is versatile and can be used in various recipes. It can be roasted, grilled, and fried and often inhabits diet dishes (via Eating Well). According to WebMD, there are many benefits to incorporating poultry into your diet, as it contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that support muscle tissue and bone density. Chicken contains tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels in the brain, and is high in lean protein; so it may help promote healthy weight management.

Let's take a look at how long you can safely store cooked and raw chicken in the refrigerator and how to tell if your chicken has gone bad. 

Store cooked chicken for three to four days in the fridge

Do you have cooked chicken leftovers that you need to store? Southern Living recommends wrapping the cooked poultry in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container after it cools. The USDA says cooked poultry lasts three to four days in the fridge. Again, refrigeration is the key to preventing the growth of bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. LiveStrong says to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of foodborne illness such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Need to store raw chicken in the fridge? Glad recommends wrapping raw chicken in plastic wrap, then placing it into airtight plastic bags. Place it on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator for one to two days. The United States Department of Agriculture says that you should immediately place raw chicken in a 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below fridge. They say that refrigeration is vital to deter the growth of bacteria that causes foodborne illness.

How can you tell if the chicken has gone bad? LiveStrong says that as poultry spoils, it changes color from white or brown to gray or green. The chicken may also have a foul odor, grow moldy spots, or become slimy. When in doubt, throw it out.