According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, chicken is the number one species eaten by Americans today. All chickens sold in retail establishments have been inspected by the USDA for signs of disease, but it doesn’t mean it can’t make you sick.

Chicken Grading

Chickens are graded according to USDA standards. Grade A is extremely high quality and is usually the only grade for sale in a grocery store. Grades B and C are reserved for processed products in which the chicken is cut or ground up for use as a byproduct.

Freshness Date

Chicken should be used within three days of the sell-by date. If not used within three days, it should be frozen.

Fresh or Frozen

A chicken labeled as fresh means that it has never been stored below 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw poultry stored at zero degrees Fahrenheit or below must be labeled as frozen. There are no labeling requirements for chicken stored between zero and 25 degrees Fahrenheit.