How Long After Opening Chicken Broth Is It Good (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-5 days

Being one of the most famous comfort foods out there, chicken broth is loved by many for its rich smell and taste, along with its calming heat. With another name called bouillon, the broth is a savory liquid that is made of water that has had meat, vegetables, and bones simmer in it. While it is mostly used to cook other dishes such as sauces, gravies, and soups, it can also be consumed by itself.

Chicken broth is made from bony chicken pieces (from wings, neck, backbones, and legs), celery ribs with leaves, carrots, onions, bay leaves, dried rosemary, dried thyme, peppercorns, and cold water.

Chicken broth is often mistaken for chicken stock. But the chicken stock is made solely from bones that are roasted in the oven and simmered on the stove for hours. While chicken broth is mostly made out of chicken meat than bones.

How Long After Opening Chicken Broth Is It Good?

State of chicken brothTime for which it stays good after opening
Refrigerated chicken broth (Canned)4-5 days
Unrefrigerated chicken broth (Canned)2 hours
Refrigerated chicken broth (Homemade)5-6 days
Unrefrigerated chicken broth (Homemade)2 hours
Chicken broth in the freezer4-6 months

When it comes to refrigerated canned chicken broth, it is advised that you consume it within 4 to 5 days of opening it first. This is only true if the chicken broth is continuously refrigerated. Although this is a general rule of thumb, you should definitely check out the best-by date before you consume the chicken broth.

When it comes to refrigerated homemade chicken broth, it is recommended to eat it within 5 to 6 days of cooking it at home.

If the canned chicken broth is unrefrigerated, its shelf life quickly decreases at room temperature. Hence, it can only be consumed for the next two hours after opening it.

Similar to unrefrigerated canned chicken broth, unrefrigerated homemade chicken broth can only stay good for 2 hours at room temperature.

When chicken broth is unrefrigerated and left out in the open at room temperature, bacterial development happens quickly. Bacterial growth is at its peak when the temperature is between 40°F and 140°F. When this happens, the chicken broth automatically becomes spoiled. In this case, you’re highly advised to dispose of the chicken broth as it is no longer safe to eat.

Keeping chicken broth in a heavy-duty air-tight container can greatly increase its shelf life. The frozen chicken broth can stay safe to eat for up to 4 to 6 months, provided that it is constantly in the freezer. This is because the freezer provides a cooler temperature at which bacterial growth is stopped, thus preventing the chicken broth from going bad. If the chicken broth is then thawed in the fridge, it can remain there for the next 3 to 4 days, prior to reheating and consuming it.

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Why Does Chicken Broth Stay Good For That Long?

Chicken broth can only stay safe to consume for a certain period after opening because it comes with a natural shelf life. Chicken broth beyond this period can become spoiled, due to bacterial growth. Bacteria tend to grow quicker at a temperature between 40°F and 140°F. Once bacteria start to grow, they release harmful substances that will negatively impact whoever consumed the chicken broth. To prevent this, it is important to discard the spoiled chicken broth.

When chicken broth goes bad, you can definitely look out for some obvious visible signs. Mold, in various colors such as greenish-blue or white, can start to appear in the broth as sediments or along the walls of the container. Another key sign is the smell. A rotten chicken broth can start to smell sour and unpleasant. Another indicator is if the container is bulging or swelling in any way. This is a result of bacterial growth, which releases harmful gases that push against the walls of the container, swelling it up. In addition, if you spot large or sharp dents in the container, then there is a risk of bacterial development and sometimes, botulism contamination. To destroy the dangerous toxins before discarding the can, you can boil the container for 30 minutes.

As a result of consuming spoiled chicken broth which contains harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. Coli., you may even suffer from food poisoning. Some symptoms that may appear after ingesting rotten chicken broth are dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and loss of appetite. But keep in mind that you can easily recover from light food poisoning within three days.

Conclusion

Chicken broth is often used as a remedy for many health conditions. It is usually cooked to treat the common cold, food poisoning, and the flu. In addition, it also helps maintain a healthy weight, when paired with a balanced diet. It is also anti-inflammatory, thus preventing viral infections. Its heat and nutrients clear up nasal passages and treat nasal congestion. It keeps the body hydrated and naturally provides the necessary electrolytes for your body. Chicken broth contains an abundance of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and protein. In addition, it also contains selenium which helps in preventing and maintaining cardiovascular conditions.

To conclude, chicken broth, like most perishables, will tend to spoil after 4 to 5 days of opening it first. But remember that its shelf life will rapidly decrease if it is not refrigerated.

References

  1. http://www.eatbydate.com/proteins/poultry/how-long-does-chicken-broth-last-shelf-life/
  2. https://thewholeportion.com/do-you-have-to-use-chicken-broth-within-14-days-of-opening/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-chicken-broth#1
  4. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/homemade-chicken-broth/
  5. https://www.luckybelly.com/does-chicken-broth-go-bad/#:~:text=The%20Risk%20of%20Consuming%20Expired%20Chicken%20Broth,-Image%3A%20Lucky%20Belly&text=Even%20though%20chicken%20broth%20is,as%20E%20Coli%20and%20salmonella.
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