Storing Chicken

Follow these food safety tips for storing fresh, frozen and leftover chicken.


Storing raw chicken:

  • A chilly-bin is a good way of keeping chilled and frozen products cold when taking them home from the supermarket, especially in the summer.
  • Do not leave poultry sitting in the car for hours before refrigerating.
  • Ensure chicken and poultry is stored in a fridge operating at a temperature between 2°C and 4°C.
  • Make sure you store raw poultry in the bottom of your fridge away from any cooked meats or fresh vegetables. Ensure it is also covered or wrapped.
  • Always ensure you cook your chicken before the best before date on pack.
  • Raw chicken can be kept in the freezer safely for up to 1 year at a temperature -18°C or colder.
  • It is best to freeze fresh chicken products on the date of purchase and always remember to label with the date it has been placed in the freezer.

Storing cooked chicken leftovers:

  • Cover cooked chicken and poultry leftovers immediately after they have finished steaming and put them in the fridge.
  • Before storing, slice leftover chicken into smaller portions, rather than leaving whole. This ensures even and efficient cooling when placed in the fridge.
  • Store chicken, stuffing, gravy and any other leftovers in separate containers.
  • Make sure your fridge is operating at a temperature between 2°C and 4°C when storing chicken leftovers.
  • Always store cooked chicken in a covered container at the top of the fridge, above raw poultry.
  • You should eat chicken leftovers within 3 – 4 days and always ensure you reheat them correctly, see tips for reheating here.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze leftover cooked chicken. Ensure you date the container and use within 3 – 4 months of freezing. Once defrosted, use within 1 day.
  • Leftover chicken is great in salads, sandwiches, on pizzas, in pastas or quesadillas.