is it safe to eat expired chicken?

Hello and Good Evening Everybody

            I am wondering if it is safe to eat expired chicken.  The chicken's expiration date is November 24, 2014.  The package looks well sealed and the chicken does not seem to have any sort of discoloration.  I believe it has been well refrigerated and perhaps even frozen.

            Any shared input to this question will be appreciated.

            Thank you

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Imtiaz HashamTechnical Director / IT ConsultantCommented:
In my opinion, due to the dangers of salmonella, i would avoid it.
Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
'Perhaps' is concerning.  If you do not know 100% it has been frozen the whole time (and never thawed at one time or another and frozen again) then definitely avoid it.  Expiration on food normally pertains to shelf life.  If you're in the states then you could also reference this guide provided by the FDA.

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GMartinAuthor Commented:

            I noticed that chicken parts will keep for 9 months if frozen.  With respect to a time table, is that referring to the time after it was originally packaged?  Or, does that mean 9 months beyond the expiration date on the package?

             Thank you

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You can cook it and eat it if it was frozen before that date and is still frozen.  Otherwise, throw it out.
Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
Since product dates are not a guide for safe use of a product, original package date would be wise to adhere to in addition to the already aforementioned comments.
I would definitely use the packaging date instead of the expiration date, however, even if it is safe to eat the quality may not be there, depending on how it was packaged for freezing.  If it was in the original store packaging, the quality deteriorates much faster than if it has additional packaging specifically made for freezing meat products.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Expiration dates are the dates beyond which the supplier says that they are no longer responsible for what you do with it or the consequences.  And as far as I know, you can not see salmonella which is potentially deadly.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Common sense says you can use a meat or poultry product 2 or 3 days (maybe a week) beyond expiry and cook it THOROUGHLY all the way through. That will kill bacteria and you should not have an issue.

3 months past!!!  Throw it away.
Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2ndCommented:
If it was frozen as soon as it was purchased it should last for the time your freezer says it is good for. Ie a three month freezer should keep it good for three months. The expiration date on the packet will be just a few days past the purchase date assuming you will only refrigerate it.
If it was frozen a few days after purchase then bacteria will have a chance to build up before it was frozen. Freezing only slows them down so if there were double there to start with there will be possibly enough to cause harm after the freezing period.
If in doubt chuck it out, but if you do decide to cook it make sure to cook it for longer than normal to ensure that all the nasties are dealt with.
I read long ago that freezing is good, but once thawed, the meat should be cooked immediately. The water in the cells of the meat expand when frozen a little below the freezing point. This causes cellular damage as the ice breaks though the cellular walls, thereby significantly lowering the resistance to bacteria. If frozen, thawed, and refrozen, that is also bad because bacteria will grow in the freezer once introduced to the meat; and this time the bacteria will be growing inside the cells as it is able to penetrated the protective cellular walls.

Sounds like you do not know the exact history of the meat. I advise throwing it out.
web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
Do not take chances I agree with all those who said throw it out, why take chances with the life or health of your family just to save the cost of the chicken.  DO NOT TAKE THE CHANCES as the health care costs or funeral costs will far exceed the cost of the expired chicken. Plus there is the pain and suffering that one will go through if anyone gets sick from eating it.
We freeze turkey and chicken products all the time and never had an issue.

Since bacteria can form between temperatures such as 40 and 140 degrees, you are only looking at about 2 hours for non refrigerated chicken.
Refrigerated shortly after you buy it then you have 1-3 days to cook it.
You can extend the time you can freeze chicken if you will leave the original packaging and wrap that in aluminum foil.
I have read that foods frozen at zero degrees can greatly extend the freezing period.

You want to avoid freezing poultry, thaw it, and then re-freeze it. The time then decreases greatly.

If the chicken is cooked and then stored it should last 3-4 days in the refrigerator and if you desire to freeze it then 4+ months.

Raw chicken that is bad will have an odor which is somewhat sour. The color of the chicken will be dull in appearance and may have a slick texture.

"I am wondering if it is safe to eat expired chicken.  The chicken's expiration date is November 24, 2014.  The package looks well sealed and the chicken does not seem to have any sort of discoloration.  I believe it has been well refrigerated and perhaps even frozen."
..................So where did you get this chicken? Stores can not sell after the sell by date and many stores give you a financial reward if you find an outdated item on the shelf. If you moved into a new dwelling with a refrigerator included and you inherited the frozen food, then you do not know when the chicken was frozen.

Based on your date of Nov. 24th, we would not be concerned to be invited to your home for chicken dinner. It's been less than 4 months and if the thawed poultry passes the color, smell test and it is thoroughly cooked you should be ok in our opinion. The only longer term affect we have experienced is freezer burn and ice accumulation in packages such as chicken nuggets, so we don't store them that long.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

To Whom It Concerns,

         I have never been nothing less than extremely satisfied throughout my years of using this forum for the purpose of becoming better informed when it comes to making personal and professional choices.  This time it was completely different because of a couple of comments made by two different advisors of Experts Exchange.  I found the comments inappropriate because they were condescending and just down right insulting.  While there were several advisors that stuck with answering my question objectively and openly, the two personally insulting comments totally changed the focus of the entire post.   Perhaps the old cliché that a team is only as strong as its weakest link is true because it certainly applies to this situation.  But, do you know what the real tragedy is here?  The trust I have in each advisor to respond to my question with objectivity, professionalism and integrity became violated just because of comments made by two different advisors.  

         In closing, I have and continue to treat people with respect within and outside of this forum.   It is one of many principles for which I am honored to live my life by.  At any rate, this is not about me.  Instead, it is about the respect and trust which the advisors of EE have earned through their provision of high caliber solutions while being cognizant of the personal integrity of its users.   From my own personal testimony, I have to confess that the advisors of EE have been just that up until this one incident.  However, I will not let this one discouraging situation strip me of my continued confidence and faith in the advisors of EE to be an integral part in the resolution of my future personal and professional concerns.  If we have all learned something about others and ourselves, maybe it was a good thing this unfortunate incident took place and did not happen for nothing.  

         Best regards,

         George L. Martin

GMartinAuthor Commented:

            It takes a big man to admit he was wrong but a bigger one to say that I am sorry.  From my end, I want to apologize too for failing to read between the lines in order to gather your true intentions.  With respect to your offer to financially help, I am greatly touched by such thoughtfulness and generosity.  My financial situation is fine though.  Perhaps I should have explained what was going on in more detail.  Basically, my girlfriend made some chicken the other night and I noticed the expired date on it.  Seeing that she is so sensitive about things I occasionally bring up, I did not know exactly what to say or do.   Despite of my suggestions, she is pretty head strong and wants to do things her way.  At any rate, I am sorry for not disclosing in more detail what was really going on.  

            As a wrap up here, I prefer to look at this entire situation as water under the bridge sort of speak.  There are no longer any bad or hurt feelings from this situation because it was a byproduct of a simple misunderstanding.  I am glad we got a chance to fully explain our positions.  

            Once again, thank you so very much Andrew for your concern, sensitivity, and eagerness to resolve our misunderstanding.  That certainly speaks volumes about your character : - )

            Have a great rest of the weekend.

Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
Why is this being deleted?  Seems like the inappropriate comments should just be removed and any viable solution(s) can still be accepted.

2 cents.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

              Thank you for taking the time to share your insights into this matter in addition to the resourceful link.  The link given by Kyle Santos is certainly a great measuring stick to go by when determining the refrigeration and freezer safe times for various perishable products.  Seeing that the link came from the FDA, I have the extra confidence needed to use this as a reliable and dependable guideline for future reference.  Thanks again for this tip and to everyone else who shared their thoughts.

                Have a great rest of the day.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks George and good luck.
Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
You're welcome, George!  Have a great week.

web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
Sorry if my comments been a little hurtful as well, thanks for explanation, for reading between the lines are saw that I did not intent to hurt you by my comment. I know my comments were not really called for either. Thanks for awarding me points despite my poor taste in words I used to convey my thoughts.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Evening,

           To be perfectly honest, I did not find your feedback given to be offensive.  In fact, I greatly appreciate your candor because it reminded me of the real and horrific consequences of eating outdated food which has gone bad due to bacterial contamination.  Your viewpoints were in line with my original question and were not taken in an offensive way.  

           In closing, I do sincerely thank everyone for sharing your thoughts to my question.  While it did temporarily loose focus,  we were able to collectively get it back on track.  Thanks so much once again and have a great night.

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