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How long can I keep chicken in the refrigerator?

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro, Laura Martin

If you can't cook the chicken within 2 days, freeze it. It will keep up to 9 months in the freezer without any loss of texture. (The chicken does not become unsafe after nine months, but it is likely to dry out or get freezer burn).

When storing chicken in the refrigerator, it is fine to keep it in the sealed packaging, but it's a good idea to place the package on a plate to ensure no juices contaminate other foods. It is best to store raw meats and fish on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where they are less likely to drip onto other foods.

See Can Your Refrigerator Kill You? for more safety tips on storing foods in the refrigerator.