Discovered: how long you can leave Coles' roast chicken as little-known detail found on the label 


How long can you REALLY leave roast chicken in the fridge – woman spots little-known detail on the label of a Coles BBQ chook

  • A sharp-eyed customer who spotted a tiny detail has cleared a shopping mystery
  • Melbourne woman spots use-by date on Coles’ hot chicken is just one day later
  • Supermarket giant always has best-before date just one day after roast is bought

A sharp-eyed customer has spotted a little known detail on a Coles’ hot roast chicken label.

Melbourne shopper Lilian noticed the use-by date on her hot chicken roast was the next day.

Lilian thought she could keep the hot chicken leftovers in the fridge for longer than  24 hours so took to Facebook to ask Coles about the label.

Melbourne shopper Lilian posted this use-by label to Facebook, clearing up a popular misconception. Most people think you can keep the leftovers for a few days: you can't

Melbourne shopper Lilian posted this use-by label to Facebook, clearing up a popular misconception. Most people think you can keep the leftovers for a few days: you can’t

Coles have also got a quiet free-chicken deal if you know to ask: if there are no hot roast chickens available at certain prescribed times you can get a voucher for a free chicken

Coles have also got a quiet free-chicken deal if you know to ask: if there are no hot roast chickens available at certain prescribed times you can get a voucher for a free chicken

‘Is it a normal thing for the best before date to be a day after it’s cooked and bought?’ she asked on Facebook. 

Coles soon got back to her.

‘We can confirm our BBQ Chickens are best consumed within 24 hours, and the labels should always have a Best Before of the next day on them,’ the retailer said. 

A spokesperson for the supermarket giant told 7News that all labels on the hot roast chickens should always have a best-before date of the following day on them, to ensure the chicken is at its best quality.

Chicken needs to be eaten fairly quickly as it can host bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and dehydration. 

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) issues guidelines for chicken meat handling and storage on its website, and says cooked chicken should be put in the fridge as soon as the steam has evaporated.

‘Leftovers should be stored in the fridge immediately or frozen if more than one to two days’ storage is required,’ the ACMF says. 

Coles says it puts the best before date just one day after so its hot chickens are at their best

Coles says it puts the best before date just one day after so its hot chickens are at their best

The Federation also warns consumers to re-heat leftovers to at least 70C for a minimum of 2 minutes before eating.

Food that is frozen below -18C should stay in near-peak condition for several months,  although higher temperatures reduce this time, according to Taste magazine. 

Coles also has a little-known free-chicken policy where if there are no hot roast chickens available at certain times you can get a voucher for a freebie to use within seven days.

Times can vary between stores so be sure to check with the store. It’s not available with Coles Online shopping. 

USE-BY VS BEST-BEFORE 

Date marks give a guide to how long food can be kept before it begins to deteriorate or becomes unsafe to eat

* The two types of marking are use-by dates and best-before dates. 

* Foods that must be eaten before a certain time for health or safety reasons should have a use-by date.

* Foods should not be eaten after the use-by date and can’t legally be sold after this date due to health risk.

* Most foods have a best-before date. You can still eat foods for a while after the best-before date. 

* Foods with a best-before date can legally be sold after that date so long as it’s fit for human consumption. 

* Foods with a shelf life of two years or longer, e.g. some canned foods, do not need to be labelled with a best-before date. They may retain their quality for many years and are likely to be consumed before they spoil.

Source: Food Standards

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