chicken broth go bad

Does Chicken Broth Go Bad? A Guide to Its Shelf Life

Quick summary: Yes, chicken broth can go bad if it is spoiled. Signs of spoiled chicken broth include changes in smell, mold presence, unusual color, or the development of a slimy texture. It’s important to be cautious and discard any broth that shows signs of spoilage to avoid potential health risks. Freezing chicken broth is also an option for extending its storage life.

You found a can of expired chicken broth in a pantry. Does it have to go to the trash, or can it go to today’s lunch? Here’s the solution.

Chicken broth is quite often a necessary ingredient in cooking, especially if you like the fuller taste of the dish and follow the instructions of professional chefs. Chefs see broth as the basis for cooking, whether it is made from meat, fish, or vegetables. The chicken variant will often be the first choice, and you can buy it ready-made or prepare it yourself at home.

Depending on whether it was purchased or manually made, the duration will also differ. We bring you all the information and tips on how to best store chicken broth and how to recognize that it is spoiled.

How Long Does Chicken Broth Last?

Chicken broth is actually a very long-lasting food. You will see this by the expiration date written on the packaging. It goes for homemade chicken broth as well as for store bought chicken broth. And even when it expires, you don’t have to throw it in the trash right away. Here are the basic durations.

Unopened chicken broth

There are different packages of this ingredient, some are boxed chicken broth, and some are canned chicken broth. If unopened, they can generally last up to a year after expiration, no matter how packaged. It is important to store them in decent conditions. And if the end of the extra year is coming to an end, check the correctness just in case.

Opened chicken broth

Be sure to keep leftovers in the refrigerator after opening. However, even in such a cold, the durability will not be longer than five days. Simply once you open the package, the decay process progresses quickly.

Homemade chicken stock

Homemade chicken broth has a similar duration as purchased after you open it. It’s mostly about five days, not much more than that. The homemade broth may stay in order for a day or two longer, but be sure to sharpen your senses well to possible signs of spoilage. You can always freeze chicken broth for longer storage. You can use ice cube trays to get more practical chicken broth cubes.

Can Chicken Stock Go Bad?

Chicken stock can certainly spoil, and you will not have any pleasant consequences if you consume it as such. So always be careful and pay attention to possible signs of deterioration for your own safety.

Sign 1: The can is concave or inflated

With canned food, always follow the rule and throw it in the trash right away if you notice any bloating or distortion of the can. Unless your can has fallen to the floor at that moment and got bumps, any other disorder of the can means the possible development of harmful bacteria. This is extremely dangerous and, in the worst-case scenario, can lead to life-threatening botulism.

Sign 2: Mold is present

After opening or with a homemade chicken broth, mold is certainly possible. If you notice anything suspicious on the surface that looks like mold, throw everything away right away.

Sign 3: Smell is off

A spoiled broth can often have a sour smell that you will feel if you get close enough. In any case of undesirable odors, the food is not safe for consumption.

Sign 4: The clouds float in the liquid

If you see that some clouds are in the broth, it is very likely a sign of spoilage. Therefore, keeping the broth in a glass container is good to see the color and appearance.

What Is The Best Way To Store Chicken Broth?

Unopened boxed chicken broth can be stored at a comfortable temperature and in a dark place such as a pantry, basement, or even a garage. It is important not to be too hot. After the opening, new rules of storing chicken broth follow.

Tip 1: Keep in the fridge

After opening, the chicken broth must be refrigerated. Also, always keep the homemade broth in the fridge. After cooking, first, let it cool briefly to room temperature and then place it in the cooler. It will keep chicken broth good for several days.

Tip 2: Put in a jar with a lid

It will be best to choose an airtight container such as glass jar always to see the contents. Basically, it must have a lid to protect the broth from external bacteria. Also, put the rest of the purchased broth in a jar because the original packaging is often unsuitable for storage.

Tip 3: Freeze

You can freeze the broth for more extended storage. Frozen chicken broth will remain usable for another six months. For ease of use, you can even freeze the liquid in the ice cube tray to have practical frozen chicken broth cubes that you can just put in the sauce.


How can you tell if chicken broth is bad?

You can tell if chicken broth is bad by observing signs of sour or off-putting smell, unusual color changes, and the presence of mold or visible particles. Additionally, if the broth develops a slimy texture, it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad and should be discarded.

Is it okay to use expired chicken broth?

No, using expired chicken broth is not recommended, as it may have deteriorated in quality and could potentially pose health risks. It’s safer to discard expired broth and use fresh alternatives for cooking.

Can spoiled chicken broth make you sick?

Yes, spoiled chicken broth can make you sick. Don’t consume chicken broth if you have the slightest suspicion that it is spoiled. The consequences can range from minor indigestion to serious health outcomes.


Chicken broth is a very common addition when cooking and helps dishes have a better aroma. You can buy it ready-made in the store or prepare it yourself at home. Purchased, while unopened, can last up to a year longer than the expiration date written on the package. It generally has a long shelf life. Once opened, it has a similar duration as homemade ones, approximately five days.

Never take a risk with sour broth, as the consequences can be severe for your health. If you suspect something is wrong, it is better to throw everything in the trash and cook without broth. Also, even if it is unopened, if you notice irregularities or bloating on the can, throw it away immediately.

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