How Long Does Thawed Chicken Last in the Fridge

Updated on May 19, 2011
R.P. asks from Denver, CO
11 answers

Two days ago (Monday evening) I took some chicken breasts(in the store packaging) out of my freezer and put them on the bottom shelf of the fridge so I could safely thaw them for dinner tonight (Wednesday). We had a change in plans, and now I will need them for dinner tomorrow night. They were still a little frozen in the middle of the breast last night, but were completely defrosted this morning. I want to throw them away but my husband says they will still be fine tomorrow night. He said thawed meat keeps for two days, but I thought it was 24 hours. I am being overly cautious? I suppose I could cook them tonight and then freeze them, but we are grilling tomorrow so I would have to buy some new ones.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for so many wonderful and thorough responses. The chicken looked and smelled fine, and my husband did a great job of cooking it on the grill. I am such a worrier when it comes to food safety, but I felt very confident about our dinner tonight because of everyone's help.

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answers from Biloxi on

They will be fine. Defrosting frozen foods in the fridge is the recommended way to do it.

If they are not clucking back at you, and don't smell, then they are safe to eat.

Chicken, yummy, that's what I am having for dinner tonight.

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answers from Los Angeles on

They will be fine. BUT they will also be fine if you put them back in the freezer and then take them out when you need them.

Its a mythe that you can't put things back in the freezer once you have thawed them out. The chicken you buy in the average grocery store has been thawed and refrozen at least twice from the time it hits the chicken processing center to the time you get it home and put it in the freezer.

Good luck to you and yours.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I found this on the food safety site for the USDA. I would think you are fine with cooking the chicken but your common sense too. If it smells, feels weird, toss it.

Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly.

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answers from Philadelphia on

i think that if you cook them by thursday it will be fine. smell the chicken and make sure it does not smell bad. if it does not then it will be fine to use them.



answers from Chicago on

I agree, they should be fine unless they are smelly or slimey. Wouldn't keep them longer than 3 days though.



answers from Philadelphia on

It should be ok (since it was still frozen a tad last night), i would sniff it tomorrow too.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Should be OK--and I am fanatical about this...


answers from Chicago on

I think they would be fine, but give them the old' nose test as far as I see.



answers from Detroit on

I'm sure they will still be okay tomorrow, although if they smell questionable I would toss them.


answers from Redding on

I am a total freak about things going bad. I toss anything even the day it expires.

But, I do keep meat 2 days in the fridge. That seams reasonable to me and I know i have done that before. Not much more than that though.

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