(whole, parts, ground or giblets) 1 to 2 days
time: To assure quality, follow these freezing guidelines: whole - 12
months; parts - 9 months; ground - 3 to 4 months; giblets - 3 to 4
If a use-by date
expires while the chicken is frozen, the product can still be
breasts will usually defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Bone-in parts and
whole chickens may take 1 to 2 days or longer. Once the raw chicken defrosts, it
can be kept in the refrigerator an additional day or two before cooking.
During this time, if chicken defrosted in the refrigerator is not used, it
can safely be refrozen without cooking first.
Chicken may be marinated in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
Boil used marinade before brushing it on cooked chicken and discard any uncooked
If you intend to
stuff a chicken, it must be stuffed immediately before cooking. Some
USDA-inspected frozen stuffed whole chicken MUST be cooked from the frozen state
to ensure a safely cooked product. Follow cooking instructions on the
USDA recommends cooking chicken to a minimum of 165°F to ensure safety.
temperatures may be used to achieve the texture and degree of doneness that
Pregnant women, children, elderly and immuno-compromised individuals can be at
an increased risk of developing foodborne illnesses that can have dire
consequences. Additional care should be taken for safe
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The materials contained in this Web Site are not intended as safety advice to
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represent advice by the American Meat Institute. Please consult the safe
handling directions and labeling on meat and poultry products for assurances.
For more information, please contact FSIS for details.