Can I eat this?
July 5, 2018 4:19 PM   Subscribe

The boxed low sodium chicken broth that I added to some chicken thighs in my slow-cooker says to use within 7-10 days of opening. I just realized that it's been 12 days since I opened it. Can I eat the pulled chicken that will emerge from my slow cooker in 4 hours or should I throw it away?

If it's helpful:
- The broth has been in a cold fridge since I opened it on the evening of the 24th,
- the box wasn't deformed in any way when I removed it from the fridge today,
- I smelled the broth before I added it, and it smelled normal,
- I used about 1 cup, and
- I'm cooking it and the chicken thighs for 4 hours on high

I don't mind throwing it away (we are lucky enough to have lots of other food and a generous grocery budget) but I also prefer not to waste food if I can avoid it.

What do you think?
posted by cimton to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Vote for eat it. I'll be over shortly.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:32 PM on July 5, 2018 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I have accidentally consumed old, packaged chicken broth more times than I’d like to admit (I think it was a long time before I discovered those cartons even had a “use within x days after opening” note) and have been fine so far. I would feel OK eating this.
posted by castlebravo at 4:33 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It’s fine, enjoy!
posted by SaltySalticid at 4:34 PM on July 5, 2018

Best answer: I'm sure it's fine.
posted by erst at 4:42 PM on July 5, 2018

Best answer: Is the broth clear and does it pass the smell test? Then, yes, use it!
posted by acidnova at 4:44 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's probably pretty salty, right? I would bet that a salty broth that didn't smell or look weird would be fine even a few days after the use-by date.
posted by Frowner at 4:51 PM on July 5, 2018

Best answer: According to the USDA, was it at room temp (40-140F) for more than two hours? If not go ahead! Reheat to 165 for extra credit.
posted by Bistyfrass at 4:59 PM on July 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would do two things to calm my anxieties:

- Is there any more left in the carton? If so, pour it out into a glass vessel. Is it clear? Good.
- I'd probably make sure I set the slow cooker on High, especially if it's usually on the cool side.

If the 1 cup was the last of it and you can't do the former I'd probably still eat it.
posted by quaking fajita at 6:31 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I always use mine weeks after I open it. (It's always refrigerated.) Haven't been sick yet.
posted by gaspode at 6:51 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's totally fine.

Look, the box said 7-10 days, and you know this recommendation is playing it safe and conservative AND is by definition already acknowledging some wiggle room. There is nothing magical that happens between day 10 and day 12 that will turn the broth into poison, especially when you've followed the absolute best practices of both keeping it refrigerated AND cooking it through thoroughly before consuming.
posted by desuetude at 11:16 PM on July 5, 2018

Best answer: Yeah, you're fine. The "best by" and "best within" dates aren't usually there for health reasons, but for quality assurance. And even then they're conservative estimates.
posted by duffell at 5:46 AM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: I basically always interpret that sort of "7-10 days" as "sooner rather than later, and it's not our fault if you forget it for a couple weeks and then it's gross." If nothing about it caught your attention while you were handling it, it's gonna be fine.
posted by teremala at 6:45 AM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: I can confirm that boxed chicken broth left in the fridge too long will let you know if it's gone off. If it smells fine, it's probably fine.
posted by libraryhead at 7:26 AM on July 6, 2018

Response by poster: Friends, I'm happy to report that not only was it safe to eat, but it was delicious. It's been 12 hours and I still feel great. More pulled chicken tacos incoming for lunch!

Also, I just realized I've been hanging around here almost a decade! Pleased to celebrate my almost-10-year AskMetaFilter anniversary by asking my first "can I eat this question."
posted by cimton at 8:19 AM on July 6, 2018 [13 favorites]

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