Chicken broth is also referred to as bouillon. It is the liquid in which chicken has been boiled. Chicken broth is either eaten on its own, or it is used to flavor soups, sauces, gravies, and other dishes.
Chicken broth is either store-bought or homemade, but it must be stored in the right way to prevent early expiration.
In this article, we answer the following question: Can you get sick from eating expired chicken broth? We tell you how to know if the chicken broth has gone bad, whether it is safe to consume it and how to store chicken broth to keep it fresh for a longer period.
Does Chicken Broth Go Bad?
Yes, chicken broth will eventually go bad. When bought from the store, it does have a long shelf life if left unopened. However, once the chicken broth has been opened, it goes off pretty quickly.
Homemade chicken broth lasts about as long as the store-bought kind once it’s been opened. Although there is evidence to suggest that homemade chicken broth will last a bit longer if the fat is kept in it.
Can you get sick from eating expired chicken broth?
You can get sick from eating expired chicken broth if it was stored improperly or if it was kept open either in the fridge or at room temperature. The chicken broth that was stored unopened in a pantry or the fridge can be consumed up to a week after it expired.
Do not eat the chicken broth if:
The broth looks mostly cloudy.
Its smell is similar to that of a rotten egg or stale bread.
A spoiled chicken broth releases certain gases that transform the shape of the container, you can tell if the upper is made of plastic.
Foam is generated on the surface.
You can notice mold.
The reality is that chicken broth can last three to four days in the refrigerator, although if you freeze it and use the RIGHT containers, it can last three months.
When making chicken broth, the vegetables and herbs provide sugars, minerals, color, and aromatic compounds. Meat provides amino acids (small pieces of protein) while bones and cartilage mainly provide collagen. During the long cooking period, this collagen slowly turns into gelatin. It is for this reason that once cooled, broths sometimes turn into jelly – this is not a sign that the chicken broth has expired.
What is the expiration date of chicken stock?
The expiration date for process stock is usually mentioned on the packing. It usually lasts one year past the date if stored unopened in a cool dry place or the refrigerator. After this time the quality and taste start to degrade and spoilage may also occur.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture website, chicken broth lasts for the following length of time:
Fridge Chicken Broth 3 – 4 days
Can you get food poisoning from a bad chicken broth?
Yes, if the broth has been out in the open for more than two hours, or in a temperature zone between 40 to 140 degrees. Such a broth may be contaminated with harmful bacteria and can cause food poisoning when consumed.
How to know if the chicken broth is bad
The chicken broth will start to smell bad before going slimy. Remember that this can be easily spoiled and if someone consumes it they can end up getting sick. Without a doubt, the smell will be another aspect that we must evaluate to know if the chicken broth is bad. The bacteria can produce unpleasant odors discoloration and mold.
How to store chicken broth
Good meat or vegetable broth keeps very well in the fridge and freezer. First of all, it is important to clarify it to properly remove impurities. Filter the broth in a Chinese style, remove certain vegetables such as celery which tends to change the taste, and place it in the refrigerator for about 4 days.
It is advisable to boil it before consuming it. Use the same method for freezer storage. Wait until it has cooled down to put it in a suitable container or plastic bottle, not forgetting to note the date.
It can be kept for about 3 months at a very low temperature. Finally, another method of preserving broth is to boil it once a day or evening and morning in case of high heat. It’s a very old practice that allows you to always have a good broth at hand!
It will concentrate more and more and will eventually become a base for cooking meats or other preparations. Be careful not to over-salt the broth if you want to boil it every day. It tends to become loaded with salt after successive reductions.
Can you freeze Chicken Broth?
If you end up with a pot full of chicken broth after cooking, you can preserve it by freezing it in small portions so that any time you are cooking, you only take out what you need.
Here are some tips on how to freeze chicken broth:
Ice Cube Trays/Muffin Tins: Chicken broth is liquid, and it expands when frozen. Make sure you leave some space by not filling the ice cube trays or muffin tins to the top. Three-quarters of the way will do. Freeze them overnight, the following day, remove the trays from the freezer and leave them to sit out at room temperature for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it, and when you notice that the sides have started melting, pop the discs and cubes out into a Ziploc freezer bag. Stick a label on with the date so that you don’t keep the chicken broth past the recommended three months.
Large Portions: You can also freeze the chicken broth in large portions if you know that’s how much you will need for your next dish. It is important to mention that you will need to use strong Ziploc bags for this to ensure there is no leakage. Again, fill the bags three-quarters of the way, lay them down flat onto a cookie sheet, and freeze. Once they are frozen, you can stand the bags upright.
Cooking From Frozen: You can either add the frozen chicken broth straight to the ingredients while they are cooking, or you can thaw it. To thaw chicken broth, put the bags or the cubes into a bowl and let it sit in the fridge overnight.