HOW TO: Purchasing

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:
    • Clean
    • Cold
    • 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.