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Freezing

Raw chicken maintains its quality longer in the freezer, as moisture is lost during cooking.[36] There is little change in nutrient value of chicken during freezer storage.[36] For optimal quality, however, a maximal storage time in the freezer of 12 months is recommended for uncooked whole chicken, 9 months for uncooked chicken parts, 3 to 4 months for uncooked chicken giblets, and 4 months for c

Raw chicken maintains its quality longer in the freezer, as moisture is lost during cooking.[36] There is little change in nutrient value of chicken during freezer storage.[36] For optimal quality, however, a maximal storage time in the freezer of 12 months is recommended for uncooked whole chicken, 9 months for uncooked chicken parts, 3 to 4 months for uncooked chicken giblets, and 4 months for cooked chicken.[36] Freezing does not usually cause color changes in poultry, but the bones and the meat near them can become dark. This bone darkening results when pigment seeps through the porous bones of young poultry into the surrounding tissues when the poultry meat is frozen and thawed.[36]

It is safe to freeze chicken directly in its original packaging, but this type of wrap is per

It is safe to freeze chicken directly in its original packaging, but this type of wrap is permeable to air and quality may diminish over time. Therefore, for prolonged storage, it is recommended to overwrap these packages.[36] It is recommended to freeze unopened vacuum packages as is.[36] If a package has accidentally been torn or has opened while food is in the freezer, the food is still safe to use, but it is still recommended to overwrap or rewrap it.[36] Chicken should be away from other foods, so if they begin to thaw, their juices will not drip onto other foods.[36] If previously frozen chicken is purchased at a retail store, it can be refrozen if it has been handled properly.[36]

Chicken can be cooked or reheated from the frozen state, but it will take approximately one and a half times as long to cook, and any wrapping or absorbent paper should be discarded. There are three generally accepted safe methods of reheating frozen chicken: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or using a microwave oven.[37] These methods are endorsed by the FDA as safe, as they minimize the risk of bacterial growth.[36] Bacteria survives but does not grow in freezing temperatures. However, if frozen cooked foods are not defrosted properly and are not reheated to temperatures that kill bacteria, chances of getting a foodborne illness greatly increase.[38]