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How to Store Chicken Safely

Storage Times

Since product dates aren't a guide for safe use of a product, how long can the consumer store the food and still use it at top quality? Follow these tips:

  • Purchase the product before the date expires.
  • Follow handling recommendations on product.
  • Keep chicken in its package until using.


Refrigerator Home Storage (at 40° F or below) of Chicken Products
Product Refrigerator Storage Times
Fresh Chicken, Giblets or Ground Chicken 1 to 2 days
Cooked Chicken, Leftover 3 to 4 days
Chicken Broth or Gravy 1 to 2 days
Cooked Chicken Casseroles, Dishes or Soup 3 to 4 days
Cooked Chicken Pieces, covered with broth or gravy 1 to 2 days
Cooked Chicken Nuggets, Patties 1 to 2 days
Fried Chicken 3 to 4 days
Take-Out Convenience Chicken (Rotisserie, Fried, etc.) 3 to 4 days
Restaurant Chicken Leftovers, brought immediately home in a "Doggy Bag" 3 to 4 days
Store-cooked Chicken Dinner including gravy 1 to 2 days
Chicken Salad 3 to 5 days
Deli-sliced Chicken Luncheon Meat 3 to 5 days
Chicken Luncheon Meat, sealed in package 2 weeks (but no longer than 1 week after a "sell-by" date)
Chicken Luncheon Meat, after opening 3 to 5 days
Vacuum-packed Dinners, Commercial brand with USDA seal Unopened 2 weeks
Opened 3 to 4 days
Chicken Hotdogs, unopened 2 weeks (but no longer than 1 week after a "sell-by" date)
Chicken Hotdogs, after opening 7 days
Canned Chicken Products 2 to 5 years in pantry

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