Food ingredients

Is My Chicken Broth in a Box Expired? [10 Ways to Find Out]

Chicken broth is an amazing ingredient that you can use in a variety of dishes. If you stock up on it and store it in your pantry for an extended period, you may find yourself wondering if it is expired

Generally, chicken broth has a long shelf life as long as you don’t open the box. It can retain its quality for up to one year past its expiry date. 

This article discusses all you need to know about chicken broth. We will look at whether it goes bad or expires, its shelf life, proper storage, freezing, and signs that it has gone bad.

We will also discuss the possible side effects of consuming expired chicken broth. Let’s dive in.

Does it go Bad/Expire?


Chicken broth goes bad.

When you buy chicken broth in a box at the store, it has a relatively long shelf life as long as you don’t open it. Once you open it, it deteriorates at a very fast rate.

If you make your chicken broth at home, it will last for as long as an opened box of store-bought chicken broth.

However, research has shown that it may last longer if you retain the fat in the broth.

Check Out: How long does Chicken Broth Last Here

Chicken Broth Shelf Life


If you store an unopened box of store-bought chicken broth properly, it may last for approximately one year past the best-by date. This also applies to canned chicken broth.

Once you open the box or can, the shelf life reduces to approximately four days. The shelf life of homemade chicken broth is also four days, but it may last longer if you don’t strain out the fat while making it.

When stored in the refrigerator, the fat forms a protective layer on the broth; hence it stays fresh for ten days. 

The dates above are estimates. You should always check for any signs of spoilage before adding the broth to your recipes.

How to Properly Store Chicken Broth


If you want your broth to last long, you must store it properly. If you are yet to open your box or can of store-bought chicken broth, store it in a cool, dry place.

You can either store it in your pantry or kitchen cabinet. Just make sure that it is far away from any sources of heat.

Once you open your box or can, you should store it in the refrigerator.


If the container it was in is not sealable, transfer the broth to an airtight container before storing it in the refrigerator.

If you made it at home, let it cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Seal the container tightly, then store it in your refrigerator.

Freezing is also an option if you want your chicken broth to last longer.

Freezing Chicken Broth


You can freeze it to extend its shelf life. You can freeze it in an airtight freezer-safe container.

For the best results, I suggest that you begin by freezing the broth in ice cube trays before transferring them to the container. This would make thawing much easier.

When frozen properly, its shelf life is indefinite. However, its quality may deteriorate over time, and its flavor will not be the same.


If you want to enjoy the good quality, use it within six months.

To thaw frozen broth, place it in your refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can transfer the block to a pot then heat it on your stovetop.

Turn off the heat once it is completely melted. 

Find out: Is your Chicken Well Done? Here

Signs that Chicken Broth has Gone Bad

Spoilt broth can ruin your entire dish. Therefore, if you have stored it for a long time, you must check for any signs of spoilage before using it as an ingredient.

Here are a few signs that your chicken broth has gone bad and is no longer safe to consume.

  • Unpleasant smell

Naturally, fresh broth has a pleasant smell. If you smell it and its aroma is unpleasant or sour, the chances are that it has gone bad. Do not try to salvage the broth by boiling it. It won’t work. Just discard it altogether.

  • Mold

The presence of mold (whether white or greenish-blue) indicates that it has gone bad. Most times, the mold makes the broth cloudy. This is commonly seen in homemade broth as opposed to store-bought chicken broth. If you notice any mold in your product, discard it.

Note that mold can also manifest as sediments floating on the top, so be on the lookout for them.

  • Bulging/swollen container

A bulging or swollen container indicates that it is spoiled. Note that when any food starts going bad, the bacteria in it releases gas which forces the container it is in to expand.

You must check the container when you buy the product. If it appears somewhat swollen, the chances are that a toxic chemical substance, botulinum, has contaminated it. 

Before discarding it in a bulging or swollen container, you should detoxify it. Do this by letting the container sit in boiling water for half an hour.

  • Sour taste

If your chicken broth doesn’t have any of the signs above, but it tastes sour, the chances are that it is spoilt and, therefore, not safe to consume. Don’t try and swallow spoilt broth. Discard it.

  • You stored it for longer than recommended.

Once you open your box, you should only store it for a maximum of four days in the refrigerator. If you have stored it for longer than that, it would be best to discard it because it may no longer be safe to use.

What will happen if you Consume Expired Chicken Broth?

Consuming spoilt chicken broth puts you at risk of food poisoning since it contains bacteria like salmonella and E Coli.

It would be best if you discarded a box that exhibits any signs of spoilage.



Chicken broth is an amazing ingredient that you can use in various dishes. Its shelf life is not too long, but it can last longer if you store it properly.

With proper storage, an unopened box may retain its quality for up to one year past its expiry date. When opened, its shelf life reduces to four days.

If you aren’t sure whether your chicken broth has expired, look out for any of the signs of spoilage we have discussed above. If it has an unpleasant smell, mold, sour taste, or its container looks swollen or bulging, it has expired, and you should discard it.

You should also discard it if you have stored it for longer than the recommended period.

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