Everything You Need To Know About Storing Raw Chicken After Opening

Raw chicken is one of the most difficult food items to store because they're easily overtaken by the growth of bacteria within a short time spent at room temperature. In this article, we outline step-by-step guides to storing leftover raw chicken to stave off spoilage and prevent you and your loved ones from food poisoning.

By Cookist

Like most meats, raw chicken can become potentially harmful without proper storage methods. This especially applies to raw chicken that has been removed from its original vacuum seal.

How To Store Raw Chicken After Breaking Its Seal

Once you remove raw chicken from its tight vacuum seal, you must make sure to return the leftover to an airtight container before freezing.



  • Wrap each piece of raw chicken in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn which occurs  when air penetrates the container.
  • Place the wrapped pieces of chicken into either a Ziploc freezer bag, which is made with thicker sides. Or you can wrap it again in foil before placing it into the bag.
  • Squeeze the freeze bag to ensure that it doesn't collect air. You want it to get every last bit out to lengthen the chickens' shelf life.
  • Label the bag with the date before putting the chicken in the freezer. This will help you know what's still good to eat and prevent food poisoning.

Golden Tips For Handling Raw Chicken


The hard and fast rule is to never keep chicken at room temperature for more than two hours or at temperatures higher than 40°F, inside or outside your refrigerator. Here are a few others that you must never forget:

  • Store unused raw chicken immediately. The longer raw chicken is exposed to room temperatures, the more likely it is that bacteria has started replicating rapidly.
  • Always disinfect your hands and surrounding surfaces after handling raw meat.
  • Keep the raw chicken in the refrigerator if you plan to cook it soon. If otherwise, freeze.

How Long Can You Keep Raw Chicken After Opening?


According to the USDA, raw chicken that's been opened and kept in a refrigerator is safe for no longer than 2 days.

On the other hand, freezing keeps the chicken safe for consumption much longer, about 9 months. After this stipulated period, the raw chicken is more likely to possess freezer burn, which leaves it dry and far from being fresh.


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