Skip to main content

Perdue's Blog The Table

The Cure for Chicken Anxiety (Hint: It’s Not a Pill)

March 2024

Chicken anxiety may be one of the fastest-growing food phobias in recent memory. Who knew raw chicken could cause so much stress?! This phobia is seated in our fear of eating undercooked chicken and getting sick. The fear is so debilitating, that in some cases it causes folks to swear off chicken forever!!

We love chicken and want each and every customer who purchases Perdue chicken to have an amazing experience, not only when you sit down to enjoy a delicious meal, but when you’re in the kitchen preparing and cooking dinner for family and friends.

Here at Perdue, we believe that an ounce of prevention is the best cure. Following the proper food safety and handling techniques will help you avoid foodborne illnesses, set your fears aside and enjoy tender, tasty chicken – minus the panic attack.

Your Top Chicken Anxiety Questions – Answered!

Is it safe to wash raw chicken?
We know it’s tempting, but please don’t. You run the risk of juices splattering on your countertop and other surfaces and causing cross-contamination. Keep raw chicken away from other foods and use hot, soapy water to wash your hands, cutting boards, knives and kitchen tools, the sink and all work surfaces for at least 20 seconds – before and after you handle raw chicken.

How long can raw chicken sit out?
According to the USDA, temperatures between 40 and 140 F create the perfect breading ground for bacteria, which can double in number in as little as 20 minutes. That’s why you should never leave food sitting out for over two hours. If the temperature is above 90 F (think backyard BBQ), food should not be left out more than one hour.

How long can raw chicken stay in the fridge?
Thawed chicken can be stored for one to two days, says the USDA. Oxygen speeds up the spoiling process, so place defrosted chicken in an air-tight container, a vacuum-sealed container or a vacuum bag.

Defrosted chicken sealed in an air-tight container or bag should be stored in the refrigerator at a consistent temperature of 34 to 40 F.

How long can chicken last in the freezer?
Inspect packages for tears or rips, then place immediately in the freezer (or refrigerator, if you plan to defrost and prepare it in a day or so). Under the best conditions, products should last up to 365 days in the freezer.

How long after the sell-by date can chicken be cooked?
Fresh chicken should be cooked or frozen within one to two days of purchase, according to the USDA.

How do you tell if chicken has gone bad?
Do not cook raw poultry if it appears gray, feels slimy or smells sour. When in doubt, throw it out.

I’m afraid of eating undercooked chicken. How do I tell when it’s done?
Invest in a quality digital meat thermometer. When nearing the end of cooking or grilling time, insert your thermometer in the thickest portion of the chicken (without touching bone). Always measure internal temperature and make sure that chicken juices run clear before serving. The following guidelines will help you ensure that chicken is properly cooked:

Chicken Doneness Temperature by Part
Whole Chicken: 180 F
Drums, Legs, Thighs, Wings: 180 F
Breasts, Boneless Breasts, Boneless Thighs: 170 F
Ground Chicken: 165 F