How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Chicken Last in the Fridge?

Most of you buy your chicken fresh and raw in sealed vacuum bags. Do vacuum bags really give you an extended shelf life for your chicken, or does it just seal in the juices to prevent dehydration of the chicken meat so the supermarket can charge you more for the chicken?

There is truth in both scenarios.

This article will explore how chicken in vacuum-sealed bags benefits the consumer and the retailer. And if you get an extended shelf life of the chicken.

Let’s get into it.

Does vacuum packaging extend the life of chicken in the fridge?

Vacuum packaging does extend the life of chicken stored in the fridge. The purpose of vacuum packaging chicken is two-fold, to extend the life of the chicken and to retain the moisture in the chicken, which has the knock-on effect that you pay more for a hydrated bird (you are paying for water) than a bird that has been standing and dehydrating on a supermarket shelf.

The benefits of vacuum packing chicken and other meats outways any slight downside you may face at the checkout.

Vacuum-packed chicken can be stored in the fridge for ten days before it needs to be cooked or frozen. Ten days is a considerable amount of time to keep chicken in the fridge without it spoiling.

How does vacuum sealing chicken extend the life of the meat?

Then the process is simple, and the machinery is complex to a certain degree. The chicken is placed in a special vacuum bag. The bag is tough polythene that is food grade and is almost puncture-proof.

The vacuum bag with the chicken inserted is placed on a  vacuum packing machine, a small pipe is inserted into the bag, the lid closes, and the machine whirs into action, pulling a vacuum inside the bag, removing the air and other contaminants.

When the process is complete, the vacuum pipe withdraws from the bag, and the bag is hermetically sealed.

The absence of oxygen, nitrogen, and a few other gasses we breathe stop the bacteria from being able to take a foothold on the chicken, rendering the chicken bacteria free even when it is raw.

The chicken can now be refrigerated without losing moisture. 

Incidentally, adding spices to a chicken before vacuum sealing the bag increased the intensity of the spice infusing the flavors into the chicken.

How long does vacuum-sealed raw chicken breast last in the fridge?

It’s reasonable to expect the chicken to last up to ten days in a sealed vacuum bag in the fridge. Your fridge will need to operate at the correct temperature of 40℉ or slightly below. 

After the ten days, you will have two options, 1, freeze the chicken in the sealed vacuum bag, and 2, cook the chicken. Vacuum bags are different from rotisserie bags, so ensure you remove the chicken from the bag before cooking.

Why does vacuum-packed chicken smell?

Your chicken should not smell bad when removed from the vacuum bag. It should smell like chicken. Vacuum packing removes most of the air from the bag, intensifying the chicken juices.

If your chicken is discolored and the bag has started to swell, then the chicken is bad and should be discarded immediately.

How long does cooked chicken last in a sealed vacuum bag?

30 days. Buying cooked chicken in a vacuum bag gives the chicken an extended shelf life, but you should always pay attention to the use-by date on the packaging.

When selecting cooked chicken on or off the bone, ensure that the meat is securely packed and the sealed vacuum bag holds the chicken tightly. 

If the vacuum bag has air inside, the seal has failed, and your chicken may be spoiled in the bag.

Is vacuum-packed chicken slimy?

Vacuum packing does not alter the texture of the chicken. If you have raw chicken and it’s slimy, it starts to turn bad and should be discarded.

Vacuum packaging has the sole purpose of keeping meats fresh. Chicken is no different when you take the chicken from the vacuum bag; it should smell like chicken and have the firmness of chicken.

There will be juices, but no slime should be on the chicken.

Why does vacuum-sealed meat turn brown?

Chicken should turn brown when vacuum sealed, and you may notice the color is less pink than expected, which is acceptable.

The oxygen has been removed from the vacuum bag, and blood relies on oxygen to be red. The oxygen is not present, so the chicken takes on a slightly darker tone. It is safe and normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Meats that turn brown are typically beef and lamb, but again it’s a consequence of no oxygen and nothing sinister going on with the products.

How long is thawed vacuum-sealed chicken good?

Your local store may freeze unsold chicken overnight, attempting to lengthen the shelf life. If this is the case, your purchased chicken will only be good for three to five days after purchase.

Caution should always be taken when dealing with poultry to keep you and your family safe from food poisoning.

How do you know if the vacuum-sealed bag has failed?

Several techniques determine whether chicken that has been vacuum packed has gone rotten. A change in texture and color are typical indicators.

Throw away slimy chicken or raw chicken that has become orange, brown, gray, or any other color other than pink. Mold could also be visible on the chicken’s exterior.

The odor is another clue. It’s important to note that since all the scents have been sealed inside, vacuum-packed chicken may have an off scent when first opened. After you’ve opened the packet, give it ten to twenty minutes before you smell it. Discard the chicken if you smell it.

You should discard it if the flesh has any sliminess.

Is 2-year-old frozen chicken stored in a vacuum bag still good?

After freezing, it doesn’t matter whether any package dates are over their expiration date because chicken may be continually frozen and permanently safe. Keep whole raw chicken in the freezer for up to a year in your home freezer.

How can you tell if a frozen chicken is bad?

While the chicken is frozen in a vacuum bag, it’s going to be a challenge to know if it’s bad or not.

Once the chicken has thawed thoroughly, there will be tell-tale signs if the chicken is fit for consumption or not.

Here are some tips to help you assess if the chicken is still ok to eat:

  • If the chicken smells funky, it is bad and should be thrown away immediately.
  • If the color of the chicken is anything other than pink or a light tome of pink, then the chicken is possibly bad. If the chicken is green or gray, you have a significant problem; discard the chicken immediately.
  • The chicken may be rotten if there is an apparent odor on it. A sour, rotten stench is the most typical indication that the chicken is bad. You should get rid of it because the scent can be intense. Additionally, the smell of a rotten egg indicates that it is dangerous to eat. 

What’s the easiest way to tell if your chicken is good

There are a few signs that your chicken should be thrown out rather than consumed. Raw or cooked chicken that has passed its sell-by date is probably not safe to consume.

Although a change in color alone does not always indicate that your meat has gone bad.

Color, smell, and texture changes can also identify rotting meat. When your chicken takes on a gray-green hue, you’ll know it’s past its prime. Additionally, poultry with an acidic smell or a slimy texture needs to be discarded.

How should you store chicken in a sealed vacuum bag?

The chicken is sealed in a thermally sealed pouch. If you do not consume the chicken immediately, place it in the fridge towards the bottom racks. This will keep any potential drips from the bag away from other foods.

If you have opened the bag to eat some cooked chicken from the bag, rewrap the remaining chicken, place it in an air-tight container, and consume it within three days.

Final thoughts

Buying raw or fresh chicken has many benefits, mainly that the shelf life is extended, and you are guaranteed a fresh product when the vacuum-sealed bag is opened.

Storage in the fridge is not a problem. The bags are sealed by heat and should not leak or drip juices.

If you choose to open the bag on the last day of the storage recommendation, check that the chicken is ok to consume.

Vacuum sealing raw chicken can make the chicken smell odd when first opened, so leave the bag open for twenty minutes before you check the chicken for strange odors that indicate it’s going or gone bad.

It is worth noting that if your chicken does seem slightly off, leave the bag open for twenty minutes before assessing if the chicken is bad.

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