- Smell One of the easiest ways to tell if chicken is bad is by its smell. Fresh chicken should have a mild odor, but if it smells sour, putrid, or like ammonia, it is likely spoiled and should be discarded.
- Appearance Another way to tell if chicken is bad is by its appearance. Fresh chicken should have a pinkish color and a smooth, slightly moist surface. If the chicken has a gray or green tint, a slimy texture, or any visible mold, it is no longer safe to eat and should be thrown away.
- Texture The texture of chicken can also indicate whether it is bad or not. If the chicken feels slimy or sticky to the touch, it has likely started to spoil and should be discarded. Additionally, if the chicken feels unusually firm or tough, it may be a sign that it has been frozen and thawed improperly or for too long, which can affect its quality and safety.
- Use-By Date Always check the use-by date on the packaging of the chicken. If the date has passed, there is a higher likelihood that the chicken is no longer safe to eat, even if it doesn’t show any of the other signs of spoilage.
- Cooking Temperature Cooking chicken to the proper temperature is crucial to ensure it is safe to eat. The internal temperature of cooked chicken should reach 165°F (74°C). Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure the chicken has been cooked to a safe temperature.
In conclusion, there are several ways to tell if chicken is bad. These include its smell, appearance, texture, use-by date, and cooking temperature. If you have any doubts about the safety of chicken, it is better to err on the side of caution and throw it away. Consuming spoiled chicken can cause food poisoning and other health issues, so it is important to always be mindful of the signs of spoilage.