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Old 11-17-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Rank chicken

Sorry if this has been gone over before.
Too many times I open a package of chicken pieces or even the whole bird on or just a few days before the sell date and it already smells rank. Is it?
I mean, it's the sell date, not the use by date. Why is it always stinky when it gets close to the sell by date and is it still OK to cook and eat?

I was really looking forward to grilling some chicken thighs tonight. Now I'm waiting for a steak to thaw. I gotta know if this is normal for chicken to seemingly "go bad" before it's supposed to.

Thanks
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:53 PM   #2
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What I have found is that the blood and plastic "amplify" the off smell. Rinse the chicken pieces/bird, dry and then if still even a hint of a smell - ditch it. Not worth the risk. Chicken also discolours as it turns as well so if it doesn't look the right colour for the type of bird (eg corn-fed will look more yellow than a standard chook) ditch it too. If still in doubt, and you really want to try to use it, don't cook it in a sauce or lots of seasonings. Pan-fry it first and then add those bits. The chicken will smell as it cooks if it has gone. I've always found the first method works and if I get it to the cooking stage, it has been perfectly fine. But do make sure it is well-cooked.

We have use by dates on chicken and meats here and I find the accuracy of them varies greatly between stores, mainly due to their handling practices. I am very "nervous" about chicken in the last three days leading up to the use by date.

Next time you buy chicken, try removing the packaging when you get it home and see if it lasts a bit better.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:59 PM   #3
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It h as been many years since I have purchased a chicken or pieces in any places other than a farmers' market or a butcher shop. so that problem is but a distant memory.

I would submit that most of the chicken you can buy in the supermarket, whether or not it smells bad, is raised in such a way that if you were aware of it, you would not be pleased to serve it to your children, or to eat it yourself. Perhaps that rank smell is a red flag to do some research into what those "bargain" chickens are really like!
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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Sorry, pacanis, I can't help. I don't recall ever getting chicken with any kind of off smell. I'm in the "when in doubt, throw it out" camp. Enjoy your steak.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info Bilby! I will give your suggestions a try in the future. Perhaps a rinse was all it needed, but to tell you the truth..... I hate handling chicken

ChefJune, I have smelled them that way in a butcher's shop, too. Back when I used to feed my dogs a raw diet and bought a lot of chicken. I was told by the owners of the shop not to worry about it, just to rinse it off. Still, I had to ask, because it has been happening more and more and at different places. And I would hope it was raised in such a way as to be food

Thanks Katie. I will enjoy my steak!
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:19 PM   #6
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i'm with bilby on this one. go with your nose. if it smells even a tiny bit after washing it, chuck it. occasionally i've opened a package of meat that had a slight smell but was ok after washing. unfortunately, that's rare. the meat is usually bad.

while you'd like to completely trust the places we buy our meat, you never know if a package or two was accidentally allowed to warm up beyond a safe level and therefore spoil.

since it's before the date stamped, you can always return it to the store. i've returned a few things before, and so long as it was on or before the date, i've never had a problem getting my money back.

one time i returned a whole filet mignon that was obviously bad and still had 4 days left before the stamp. the meat manager came out for that one, but agreed when he smelled it and looked at the date stamp.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:20 PM   #7
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Really depends when you bought it and how long was it before you used it. I have gotten chicken that was bad as soon as open it - back it went! It should really keep a couple days after you bought it, if the date is good. If I don't use it with in a day or so - freeze it, and check the smell before.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
if it smells even a tiny bit after washing it, chuck it.
I think I'd take it back where I bought it, if that was the case.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:23 PM   #9
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If it smells bad it is bad trust your instincts as you said it smelled rank.Maybe the stores fridges are to warm or some stores will take meats back rewrap and repackage with a new date.Not saying all stores do this but a few have been caught doing it.The store in my town is bad with the open freezer bins and stock too high above the freeze level causing things to start thawing out
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew View Post
or some stores will take meats back rewrap and repackage with a new date.Not saying all stores do this but a few have been caught doing it.
Oh that's nice

There's one store semi-nearby that everybody shops at for bargains. I've had food from there that was good. I won't shop there myself though.
I had a friend that was a microbiologist for a local frozen fish filet producer that has since been bought out and then moved. Van de Camps, you might have seen their stuff. He said they always had a thermometer hidden in their shipments that he would check upon arrival. It would tell them if the temp got to high because the trucker turned off his refrigeration system to save fuel. He said everytime they refused a load of fish the trucker would call up this groccery store and they would take it. Probably sold it as a weekly special.
Now if it wasn't good enough quality to make a frozen, breaded fish square out of, how good could it be?
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