It is important to inspect chicken products before using them in a recipe, as spoiled chicken contains agents that will make you sick, and there is no way to “save” bad chicken. Using your senses to thoroughly inspect all portions of the chicken will help prevent you and your loved ones from accidentally ingesting spoiled meat.
Inspect the “Use By” date located on the chicken's wrapping. Discard the poultry if this date has come and gone, unless you froze the chicken before the listed date.
Remove all foil or other wrapping from the chicken. This lets you thoroughly inspect the chicken.
Smell the uncooked chicken. Bad uncooked chicken has a foul smell, which is recognizable from even a foot or two away. Discard the chicken immediately if any such odor is recognized.
Rub your fingers along the surface of the chicken. Spoiled or bad chicken feels unnaturally slimy, sticky and tacky.
Look for discoloration on the uncooked chicken, such as gray or darker areas. While discoloration alone does not necessarily mean the chicken is bad, this, along with a bad odor and/or tacky or slimy texture, is a definite indication the meat is spoiled.
Always discard any uncooked chicken products if you even suspect the meat is bad. Doing so eliminates the chances of you obtaining a foodborne illness from the poultry.