What is the maximum?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PAchickenlover, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. PAchickenlover

    PAchickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know the maximum amount of time you can keep a freshly butchured chicken in the refrigerator? They were some older birds and were taking a long time to "soften" up. They have been in my frig for about 2 weeks now. Is that too long?
     
  2. PAchickenlover

    PAchickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I assume they are no good at this point or what? I wanted to make alphabet soup today for my kids, but def. don't want anyone to get sick. The pot they were in, in my refrigerator had ice on the top. Guess my frig is a little on the cold side but I thought that might help.
     
  3. smilingcat

    smilingcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Two weeks is bit long. I wouldn't take a chance on the kids. Skip the alphabet soup.
     
  4. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tested this 4 times since spring. 2 weeks is usually ok but about 2 1/2 they go bad. Chicken is great in a couple respects. One you can smell if a chicken is bad and second standard chicken cooking requires it to be fully cooked (unlike beef). Even a bad FULLY cooked chicken will not hurt you as the bacteria is killed off if you heat to the proper temperatures for cooking. However they would taste bad.

    I'd smell it and if it didn't smell bad cook it up today.
     
  5. PAchickenlover

    PAchickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies. [​IMG] I did end up throwing the two partial chickens away due to the fact that I didn't know at the time if they were safe. I still have 1 or 2 in my refrig and will check them today. if they smell ok then I will be cooking them for dinner tonight. I had some leftover store bought chicken in my freezer and used that to make our soup. The kids loved it, and wanted it for dinner also. I sure hope the ones I have left in the frig are ok. I never planned on leaving them in the rig for that long, I was just waiting for them to get tender and it seemed like it was taking forever. Thanks for the information, I will keep it in mind for the next time. [​IMG]
     
  6. swirler

    swirler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is not true, and is troubling advice. One common food poisoning results from a toxin produced by staph aureus bacteria in the meat. This toxin is heat-stable and easily survives cooking. Furthermore, staphylococcal enterotoxin can be present in dangerous quantities in poultry that doesn't smell off or look different.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Next time, 3 days is about the maximum resting that will "soften" the meat. So if it isn't tender by that time, you will need to use low and slow cooking methods. All you are doing by resting the bird is waiting for rigor mortis to pass.

    A home killed chicken that was properly cleaned and kept refrigerated the entire time should still be good at 2 weeks. Myself, I don't leave home raised poultry in the fridge for much more than a week. Store bought chicken, I use or freeze immediately, but store bought chicken might already be 2 weeks old before you buy it.

    Raw chicken should not be sitting around at room temperature. Actually, neither should cooked chicken. Keep it refrigerated.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I tend to keep my own butchered birds in the fridge for up to a week or so. That said, our fridge is kept at 33-34... our milk sometimes freezes. If our fridge was 40, I'd not keep it a week in there. Store birds when unpacked often have a "sell by date" that's 10 days away!

    @ 2 weeks, ice cold like that... i'd probably go ahead and make the soup for myself. I don't have kids and have an iron stomach... I regularly eat left over food that's sat out for 6-8 hours (packed lunches from dinner with no fridge).

    For future ref, as Oregon Blues says, after about 3 days, rigor has passed and any more "softening" is just aging aka rotting.
     
  9. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have left my birds in the fridge for up to 20 days and they smelled just as sweet and fresh as the day they were butchered. It helps to keep the setting as low as possible though.
     
  10. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some staph does produce a toxin that isn't heat destroyed. However if a chicken is properly stored in the fridge staph does not show good growth assuming you had staph in the first place. So I take back that a totally spoiled chicken wouldn't hurt you, assuming your spoiled chicken had staph. But I'd still cook and eat any chicken that didn't smell and had been properly stored. Staph is most often an bacteria that arises from temperature abused food. Like left out on the counter or not stored in a cool refridge. I love my home grown chicken and wouldn't waste it if the odds are that it is a perfectly fine chicken. Otherwise one would never eat chicken as even a freshly killed chicken could have staph. Different strains of staph exist everywhere including on your own skin.
     

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