Does Chicken Broth Go Bad?

Chicken broth, also called chicken stock, is a traditional broth that is rich in chicken flavor and lightly seasoned with herbs. Chicken broth is low in calories, but it is rich in sodium. This broth is often purchased dry in aseptic containers, canned or frozen. Chicken broth makes a great base for soups and it is often added to rice dishes, sauces and casseroles. It is a common ingredient in many dishes and you might be wondering if chicken broth that you have in the pantry is still good to use. Can chicken broth go bad?

In this article you will get to know something more about chicken broth and its shelf life, but we will also show you how to store it properly.

What Is the Shelf Life of Chicken Broth?

Although sealed chicken broth has a long shelf life, the truth is that chicken broth actually can go bad. The shelf life of chicken broth depends on many factors, such as the best before date and the way of its storage. Also, the method of the preparation of chicken broth is very important. Unopened chicken broth that is packaged in aseptic containers has the shelf life of about one year if it is kept in the pantry. The same shelf life has also a chicken broth that is packaged in cans. But, when you open the container or the can of the chicken broth, it can last only 4 to 5 days in the fridge.

One interesting fact is that homemade chicken broth can last longer than the chicken broth you have bought, because it is rich in fat. The fat can form a solid layer on the top of the chicken broth, if it is stored in the fridge. You should remove this layer before consuming the chicken broth later. If you have stored the chicken broth for more than a few days you should check if there are any signs of spoilage.

How To Store Chicken Broth Properly?

The proper storage is the most important when we talk about the shelf life of chicken broth. Chicken broth has a best before date and a sell-by date, but it usually doesn’t have a use by date or expiration date. Because of that, you can safely use chicken broth after the best by date, if you have stored it properly. You should store your chicken broth in a cool and dark place, away from the heat. We recommend you to keep the chicken broth in the pantry or in the basement. Your chicken broth should also be away from moisture and sunlight.

But, when your chicken broth is opened, then you need to place it in the fridge. It is important to store it in a container that is tightly sealed. If you want to extend the shelf life of your chicken broth and to keep it for a longer period of time, then you should freeze it. If you have prepared your chicken broth at home, the best way to store it is by freezing or by canning it. Homemade chicken broth can stay fresh in the fridge for about six days.

How To Tell if Chicken Broth Has Gone Bad?

If the chicken broth has gone bad, you will easily notice that. First thing you will notice is a sour smell of the chicken broth, as well as the sediment in the bottom of the container. In this case, the chicken broth may become cloudy. If your chicken broth has gone bad its flavor will also be affected.

Also, if the container of the chicken broth starts swelling, this is an indicator that there is a bacterial growth in the broth.


As you have seen, chicken broth goes bad after a certain amount of time. You should store unopened chicken broth in the pantry, while the opened chicken broth should be stored in the fridge. If any mold appears on the broth, it indicates that the chicken broth has gone bad and should be discarded as soon as possible. Remember that spoiled foods can cause many health risks. Because of that, it is best to enjoy your food before its shelf life has expired.