It is important to be able to detect when food has spoiled. This will not only save you from eating something truly foul-tasting, but it will also help you avoid potentially deadly health consequences.

Fish and chicken are two of the most delicate foods in the kitchen, so learning to tell if they’ve gone bad is super important. In both cases, one of the easiest ways to tell is to use your sense of smell. Both fish and chicken will give off a pretty unpleasant aroma when they’re spoiled.

But, what does bad chicken smell like? and what does it mean when one smells like the other? Fresh chicken should never smell much like anything. So,

Why Does Your Chicken Smell Like Fish?

A fish smell coming from your chicken is a sure sign that your poultry is rotten The chicken smells fishy because bacteria has started to grow and spread along the surface of the raw or cooked meat. Your chicken is bad!

What Should I Do If My Chicken Smells Like Fish?

If your chicken smells fishy, it has gone bad. The uncharacteristic fishy smell is caused by microscopic bacteria that have begun to grow on your chicken. These bacteria produce a variety of toxins as they reproduce, and these toxins can easily make you violently ill. So, if your chicken smells like fish, you should throw it out immediately.

Throw away any chicken that smells fishy

What Happens If You Eat Bad Chicken?

Eating chicken that smells like fish has a very high potential to cause foodborne illness. This “food poisoning” is most commonly caused by harmful bacteria such as Helicobacter Pylori, E. Colli, and Salmonella.

While most of the time foodborne illness will cause mild symptoms, it has the potential to cause more severe reactions and even death.

If you eat spoiled chicken it is common to experience a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • High Fever

If you find yourself experiencing some or all of these symptoms after eating chicken with an uncharacteristic smell or taste, you are likely suffering from a foodborne illness caused by harmful organisms growing on the surface of your chicken.

It is important to note that cooking spoiled chicken will likely kill the surface-level bacteria, but this will not make the chicken safe to eat again.

Bacteria produce several types of toxins as byproducts of their reproduction, and these toxins seep deep into the flesh of the chicken where they are immune to direct heat.

Seek medical attention if you experience a fever higher than 102 degrees, bloody stools, diarrhea that lasts two days or more, and signs of dehydration.

How Long Before Bad Chicken Begins To Smell Like Fish?

  • If you store your chicken properly it will last up to two days inside your fridge.
  • Cooked chicken will keep between 3 and 4 days inside your fridge. 

How Do You Properly Store Chicken To Avoid A Fishy Smell?

To keep your raw chicken from smelling fishy, Planning is a must. The very first step to properly storing your chicken so that it keeps as long as possible is to buy chicken that is as fresh as possible.

Fresh chicken breasts should have a very distinct pink color, flesh that is moist but not slimy, and a very neutral odor. Stay away from chicken that has a grayish tint, a slimy texture, and a sour or fishy smell.

Store chicken in an air tight container to keep it fresh

As soon as you get home, pack your raw chicken inside a clean airtight container and place it inside the refrigerator. If you don’t plan on cooking your chicken right away, it is best that you place your chicken in the freezer, where it can keep for up to 12 months.

Spoiled chicken that smells like fish is never going to be a good thing and should be thrown out to avoid risking a potentially dangerous illness. Make sure to properly store your raw and cooked chicken to prevent spoilage for as long as possible.