I brought some chicken breast which was vaccum sealed in a package. It was due to expire in a weeks time (9th), but I was going to be on holiday, so therefore decided to freeze it.

I defrosted it on the 7th and was planning on cooking it on the 8th, but I got too busy. So therefore it was defrosted in my fridge for a day longer with today being the expiry date.

Is it still safe to eat?

Hope it makes sense!

  • 2
    @user1721135 a) no answers in comments, please, b) with some foods, the date can actually be a “use-by” date (as opposed to “best-before”), after which the food item is actually no longer safe. Minced meat and chicken are typically examples. – Stephie Nov 9 '19 at 18:27
  • 5
    Possible duplicate of How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge? – Luciano Nov 11 '19 at 9:43

I somehow think that there should be a duplicate somewhere but, as I haven't found it, I will venture an answer.

The simple answer is that your chicken should be perfectly safe.

While most fresh meat is sold with a 'sell by' date rather than an actual expiration date, in this case, it doesn't really matter.

You bought the chicken around the 2nd of the month and, as you weren't going to cook it right away, froze it for a few days. On the 7th, you placed it in the refrigerator to thaw.

First, even if you hadn't frozen the chicken and had just kept it in the refrigerator until today (the 9th), it should be perfectly safe to use.

Second, the short period of freezing should not leave you with any noticeable difference in quality, especially considering that it was vacuum sealed.

So, enjoy your chicken!

| improve this answer | |

A key question is how long the item was frozen for. In general, freezing is considered to slow the aging clock nearly to a stop, but there are factors. Aging is not entirely stopped, but close. The act of freezing and thawing though does damage. Plant and animal cells are damaged by the expansion of water during freezing and the sharp ice crystals for instance.

These are made up numbers, but what I personally tend to go by, and it is not true for all things, but I will use say chicken as my example. To me, just the act of freezing and thawing costs me one-two days of age. So if I was only freezing for 1 day, then I have wasted my effort and may have made it worse. If I am going to store it for days, or weeks, then I feel it ages in a good, cold, steady temperature freezer, I feel it ages under freezing at about one day per month the rate as in the fridge.

So, if I froze it on say the 4th with a use by date of the 9th I would have had 5 days of potential age left when I froze it. If I thaw it a month later, I would call that 1 day for the month in the freezer, 2 more for freezing and thawing, and say I had 2 days to use it, and its quality would be downgraded to chicken that is almost at its expiry date. At 6 months, it would already be past its used by date to me. Those are only a general guide, but that method has worked for me looking at both what is safe enough for me, and high enough quality.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.