Pick a Pack of Perfect Poultry
- Resealable freezer bags
- Permanent marker
- Shopping list
In the Poultry Case
- Buy a trusted brand like Perdue at the end of your shopping trip.
- Make sure the packaging is:
- Sealed tight without rips or leaks
- Sold from a refrigerated poultry case
- Rock solid to the touch if frozen
- Choose poultry marked within the sell-by or use-by date.
- Overwrap in a store-provided lightweight plastic bag and knot it closed.
- Bag separately from unwrapped foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Estimate a ½ lb. of chicken per adult for boneless cuts; a pound per adult for bone-in parts and roasts.
- Plan to cook fresh chicken within 2 days of purchase or subdivide bulk buys and freeze what you won’t use quickly.
In Your Refrigerator & Freezer
- Refrigerate or freeze fresh or frozen poultry ideally within 30 minutes of purchasing to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Keep poultry wrapped until you are ready to prepare.
- Cook refrigerated fresh poultry within 2 days or freeze immediately.
- If purchased on the sell-by date, prepare or freeze immediately.
- If freezing, mark with the purchase date.
- Prepare frozen meat the day it thaws.
- Keep the freezer at 0°F and the refrigerator at 36°F.
- In the freezer, pack items together so they can keep each other cold.
- In the refrigerator, pack items loosely so air can circulate.
- Pack fresh poultry on the bottom shelf and in the back where it is coldest and so that any juices won’t leak onto other foods.
- If your refrigerator has produce drawers at the bottom, consider placing the poultry on a plate.
Ensure doneness with a meat thermometer.
Refrigerate any leftover chicken immediately & use within 3-5 days.