can you eat frozen chicken after the expiration date

First, let’s address the question many consumers want to know about: can you eat frozen chicken after the expiration date? 

The answer is yes!

Producers of frozen food have strict rules about the temperatures their products are kept while being stored. This is done so that the food stays as good as possible for a longer time.

Chicken that’s been frozen rarely goes bad in the freezer. When you freeze chicken, it also freezes the bacteria that cause it to go bad and make it unsafe to eat.

This means that you can freeze chicken for a long time, even after the date on the package says it should be thrown away.

Does Frozen Chicken Expire?

does frozen chicken expire

Freezing is a safe way to keep food, and it can also be used for meat. During the process, water and structure are usually lost, which lowers the quality. 

If you don’t have a good freezer or only have a freezer compartment in your fridge, you should only freeze meat for a short time.

Meat can be kept for three to twelve months if it is handled by a professional and deep-frozen in the right way.

Red meat, like beef, has a longer shelf life than white meat because of the way it is made. Less time is needed to store pieces that are smaller. 

Pieces with less fat have a longer shelf life than those with more fat. The fat can go bad because of the enzymes that break down fat work at temperatures as low as -18 °C.

Note: These changes happen more often in chickens and pigs.

Why Shouldn’t I Store It For A Longer Time?

store frozen chicken longer

So, you shouldn’t keep meat from these animals in the freezer for more than three to four months. 

Meat that has been deep-frozen for too long loses its quality (looks, smells, and becomes dry and “crispy”), but it is not bad for your health as long as the recommended storage temperature of -18 °C has not been exceeded. 

But be careful as the food thaws. Bacteria and fungi can handle colds very well. They grow quickly when it’s hot.

If you need it quickly, you can put the sealed package in cold water. If you use shock methods, the meat will lose a lot of its juices.

Don’t freeze meat twice, because it’s bad for your health and the meat’s quality. Ask if you want to freeze the meat when you go shopping. For this, use fresh meat.

Tip: The best place to put meat to thaw is in the refrigerator.

How Long Does Frozen Chicken Last After Expiration Date

how long frozen chicken last

When it comes to poultry, packaging is key. Store chicken in its original packaging in the coldest part of the freezer (usually the bottom). 

Frozen chicken can last for up to two years, although it’s best used within six months. Once thawed, the cooked chicken will only last three to four days in the fridge.

When storing frozen chicken, make sure it’s tightly sealed in its original packaging or in a heavy-duty freezer bag.

Tip: If there’s any chance that the packaging has been damaged or if you’re not sure how long it’s been stored, it’s best to play it safe and toss it out.

When you’re ready to use frozen chicken, there are a few different ways to thaw it:

Method #1: Using the fridge

This is the most common way to thaw your chicken. Simply put it in a large bowl or container with some ice and water (the amount of ice varies by brand). 

use fridge

You can also place the bowl in a larger container if you want more room for your frozen chicken (we recommend at least 3-4 inches of space). 

Stir occasionally until thawed. Make sure not to over-defrost!

If your chicken is still frozen when you remove it from the water bath, put it back in again until it is no longer frozen.

Method #2: Using cold water

If you need to thaw chicken more rapidly, put the packages of chicken that have been frozen in cold water while they are still sealed. 

This method works well if you’re planning on cooking your chicken right away instead of storing it for later use. Use about 1 cup of cold water per pound of chicken. 

Tip: To ensure that the temperature of the water is maintained, it is imperative that you replace it every half an hour.

How Can I Make A Frozen Chicken Last Longer?

making frozen chicken last longer

Freezing a whole chicken is the most common way to preserve it. You can cook the chicken after thawing or use it in a recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

There are many ways to freeze a chicken.

First off, place the chicken in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Make sure to reduce the air space by pressing down on the bag with your hand.

The chicken ice cream maker canister or in a large container that has a lid. This is the best way to keep it properly in the freezer.

Secondly, freeze individual pieces of chicken. You can also place each piece of chicken on a baking sheet and freeze for 2-4 hours, or until solid.

The container is filled with ice and water, or you can put the chicken in a freezer bag and then wrap it in plastic wrap. 

Note: All of these methods work well, but the easiest way to freeze a chicken is by cutting it into small sizes and then placing it in a freezer bag.

Can You Eat Frozen Chicken After The Expiration Date?

frozen chicken after expiration

There’s no doubt that frozen chicken is delicious and convenient. It also saves money and makes sure your family gets the protein it needs to stay healthy. 

Eating frozen chicken after the expiration date is a risky proposition.

While it’s true that some companies have been known to extend the expiration dates of their products, there are also many instances where they don’t. 

And even if a company does extend a product’s expiration date, it can still be dangerous to eat frozen chicken after that date.


Because bacteria can grow on the meat and produce toxins that cause food poisoning.

foodborne illness

This is why you should never eat any meat that has been frozen for longer than 24 hours after its original expiration date. 

Tip: You may get sick if you risk it, and may lead to death from an illness caused by bacterial toxins.

How Do I Find Out If A Chicken Is Good Or Not?

But what happens when you’re ready to cook up some chicken for dinner?

Do you have to throw away all of that frozen chicken that was left over from a few months ago? Maybe not!

Follow the below process to know whether your chicken is still good:

Check The Date On The Package

check expiration date

Check the date on the package. If it’s still past its expiration date, it’s not safe to eat.

The best thing to do is throw out any packages of chicken with an expiration date earlier than six months after purchase.

Wipe Off The Smell With A Towel

Wipe off any funky smell with a paper towel or something similar.

Some people believe that throwing out food with an unpleasant smell like this can cause bacteria growth. 

But there’s no real evidence behind this claim so far (and anyway, there are plenty of other ways to clean up funky smells).

Check If There’s A Change In The Skin Color & Taste A Bit Of It

check color and taste

After taking the chicken out of the fridge, first, check if there’s any unusual change in the skin color or if there are any abnormal marks on it. 

It’s advisable to discard it. Taste a little bit of meat. If it tastes OK and doesn’t seem unsafe, then go ahead and cut.


I hope this helps answer your question on whether can you eat frozen chicken after the expiration date?

The chicken gets worse the longer you keep it in the freezer. When the chicken has been frozen for a long time, it loses its flavor and gets dry.

It had just been frozen for a long time before it got to you. Don’t use your kitchen at home as a buffet.

Instead, freeze the chicken in pieces that you can thaw and eat so you don’t have to freeze the leftovers again.