Is Yellow Chicken Safe to Eat? Signs to Tell if its Bad


Is Yellow Chicken Safe to Eat?

Have you picked up the package of chicken that you just bought from the grocery store, and noticed that it has a yellow color to it? Is yellow chicken safe to eat? Let’s explore the answer to this question in detail. The answers to this question might surprise you.

raw chicken
raw chicken

Yellow Chicken

Help! You opened a package of fresh chicken, or have taken a piece of raw chicken breast out of the fridge, and noticed that there are yellow spots on your fresh chicken. Is this safe to eat? 

The short answer is no, likely if you have yellow spots, yellow tint, or yellow patches on the fatty parts of your chicken, it is likely that your chicken has gone bad and is no longer safe to eat.

In most cases when you discover a yellow tint to your chicken, this is likely a sign of spoilage. One of the most common signs of spoilage is when you discover discoloration on the surface of your chicken. 

This can be found with gray spots, greenish-tinted portions, or yellow patches on the surface of your chicken. Another sign of spoilage is mold growing on the surface of the chicken.

If you notice that there are yellow patches, especially on the fatty parts of your chicken, this is a warning sign that your chicken is likely no longer safe to eat.

Most raw chicken should have a pinkish tint to it or be a white chicken color in the new package of chicken. 

No matter what kind of meat you’re looking at whether it’s a chicken breast, a whole chicken, legs, or chicken thighs, you want the chicken to be a white color, or a light pinkish color for it to be safe to eat.

When you begin to see color changes on the raw chicken, this is likely a sign that it is spoiling.

Although a sign of spoilage is likely the most common reason why your chicken has a yellow tint to it, there could be another reason why it has a yellow color. Let’s check it out.

Corn-Fed Chicken

Some types of chicken, especially organic chicken, have a yellow-tinted color to them. This is the result of the type of feed the chickens have eaten during their life.

Corn-fed chicken is especially noted as being yellow skin chickens, because of so much corn consumed. This can color the meat to be slightly yellow.

It’s worth checking the package to see if it lists the type of chicken feed, the organic or free range chicken was fed. Often you can find this listed on the package label.

If this is the reason why the chicken skin is yellow, then it is likely safe to eat. 

Let me state that again if your chicken meat is tinted yellow because it was corn-fed chicken, then it is safe to consume, if you can verify it was corn-fed, and there are no other signs of spoilage present. If the chicken was fed corn, rather than other types of feed, then this is likely the reason why your chicken is tinted yellow color. In this case, there should be no other signs of spoilage.

One of the first signs the chicken has gone bad is the color of the raw chicken. This can be an indicator that there is harmful bacteria present, and the bad chicken should not be eaten. The odd color is one sign of spoilage.

Let’s look at what other signs of spoilage might be so that you can determine if your chicken is safe to eat or not.

Signs of Spoilage

Expiration Date. First, if you still have the packaging for the chicken, double-check the sell-by date to determine how long the manufacturer recommends the chicken is good for. It is recommended that if your raw chicken has sat in the fridge, for more than 1 to 2 days since the date of purchase, it is likely begun to go bad.

Unpleasant Smells. Another sign that your chicken has likely gone bad, is if there is a foul smell to the chicken. By foul, I don’t mean that it IS chicken, I mean that it smells bad!  If you give the chicken a sniff test, and the smell of chicken is very strong, or nasty, then it has gone bad and should not be eaten. 

Slimy Texture. You can also check the texture of the chicken. Chicken in general has a slimy texture to it, but if it is extra slimy chicken, then it is likely not safe to eat.

Color of the Chicken. Then as mentioned above, another great way to tell if your chicken is safe to eat or not is to examine the color of the meat. In general, raw chicken should have a light pink, or white-ish color to the raw meat. If you see any signs of yellow, green, gray, blue, or mold growing, then the chicken is not safe to eat. 

These different methods to check for signs of spoilage are both in raw chicken and cooked chicken. The safest bet, if you see one or more of these signs of spoilage present, is to not risk eating the chicken, and throw it away.

Bad Chicken Can Cause Food Poisoning

It is always best to err on the side of caution, if you are unsure if food is safe to eat or not, because chicken that has gone bad, could contain unwanted bacterial growth. This bacteria growth will likely cause foodborne illnesses ranging from mild, to extremely serious. 

Let’s just say you don’t want to mess around with food poisoning. Because of this, if you are in doubt about the chicken at all, throw it out.

boiled chicken on a plate

The Bottom Line

Is yellow chicken safe to eat? The bottom line is that if the chicken has been corn-fed, it is likely safe to eat. However, if it has not been corn-fed, or you are not able to determine if it was corn-fed, then do not risk eating it. Examine the chicken thoroughly for any signs of spoilage, before determining if you are going to risk eating the chicken or not.

Shelf Life and Storage of Chicken

Now, let’s look at the best practices for proper storage of chicken, and how long it last with each storage method.

Room Temperature. When handling chicken, you must be extremely careful, that unwanted bacteria do not grow on it. When both raw and cooked chicken is kept at room temperature, it should only be kept at room temperature for two hours or less when the room temperature is between 40°F and 90°F.

If your room temperature is 90°F or above, then the chicken is only safe for one hour or less. For best practice get the chicken into the fridge as soon as possible.

In the Fridge. When the chicken, both raw and cooked is stored in the fridge, it should be stored in an airtight container, or as vacuum-sealed chicken. For most of us, the best way to store chicken in the fridge is in an air-tight container. You can also seal it securely in a plastic storage bag, removing any excess air. 

Raw chicken will last in the fridge for between 1 and 2 days. After that, it must be cooked, or frozen for longer storage. Cooked chicken may also be stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days before it goes bad.

In the Freezer. You can also freeze chicken from longer storage. To freeze chicken, you will either want to vacuum seal the chicken or place it in a freezer bag and remove any excess air, to avoid freezer burn. The frozen chicken will last up to 3 to 4 months when it has been cooked, and raw chicken stored properly will likely last up to 1 year. (source)

how to tell if chicken is done

Cooking Chicken

When handling raw poultry, it’s extremely important to handle it with care. We recommend using rubber gloves or thoroughly washing your hands multiple times after handling raw meat. 

When cooking the chicken, you will want to cook the chicken, so that it is cooked all the way through. The uncooked chicken will still have a pink color, even in the very center of the piece of chicken. 

For food safety, chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F for it to be safe to eat. We recommend that you use a food thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of each piece of chicken, to determine the proper temperatures in the very center of the piece of meat.

Make sure to cook each piece of chicken so that the internal temperature is a minimum of 165°F before serving.

It’s very important that your chicken reaches the correct cooking temperature so that it is safe to eat. The safe cooking temperature for all poultry, no matter what is 165°F.

It’s important that your chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving it, so that you don’t risk food poisoning by eating raw chicken. Eating raw chicken can be just as dangerous as eating chicken that has spoiled.

frozen chicken blue background

Chicken Storage and Cooking Tips

When you notice that your chicken has yellow spots or is slightly tinted yellow, make sure to thoroughly examine the chicken before determining if it is safe to eat, or must be thrown away. In most cases, the chicken is likely no longer safe and should be thrown away but double-check before trashing it. 

It’s also very important that when cooking chicken, you observe proper storage and cooking practices so that your fresh chicken stays safe throughout the entire food preparation stages.

Now that you know all the tips and tricks to determine if your chicken is safe to eat or not, and how to go about cooking it, it’s time to get started with your chicken. We hope that this has been helpful to you!

Ways to Tell if Raw Chicken Has Gone Bad

Here are a few quick and easy ways you can tell if your yellow chicken has gone bad.

Look for Gray and Yellow Spots

Odd discoloration on your raw or cooked chicken can be a sign that your chicken has spoiled. You specifically want to look for odd gray or yellow spots on the chicken.

Pay Attention to Bad Smells

The presence of bad odors, or funky smells in your chicken is another sign that it has gone bad and should no longer be eaten. You will know if something is off with the smell of your chicken.

Feel for Slimy Meat

Another way to tell if your chicken has gone bad is to feel the texture of the chicken. If the raw chicken is especially slimy this is another sign that you should not eat it.

Remember When you Bought It

Finally, remember when you bought the chicken. If it was not recent, then you will want to throw the chicken away, and not risk eating it.


Is there any way you can salvage bad chicken?

No, the best thing to do with chicken that has gone bad is to throw it away. You will only make yourself sick by eating chicken that is bad.

Any other tips to ensure you don’t get sick?

The best way to make sure you don’t get sick is to not eat chicken that has gone bad. If you are unsure if your chicken is good or not, you should throw it away, and not risk getting sick from eating bad chicken.

How long does Cooked Chicken last?

Cooked chicken that has been stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge, should last for three to four days. Cooked chicken that has been sealed in an airtight container and placed in the freezer, should last between one and three months.

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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