Or, like many, did you just assume the hot chicken roast would last at least a few days?
When a Melbourne mum spotted the date on her roast to read for the next day, she had questions.
She thought it could keep it in the fridge for a few days longer, but a Coles spokesperson has confirmed that if you want quality, it’s best to follow the date.
“Coles RSPCA Approved Hot Roast Chickens are cooked in store daily, and are one of our top selling items,” the spokesperson told news.com.au
“They make a delicious and convenient meal for the whole family and we recommend consuming within 24 hours to ensure maximum freshness and taste, in line with the printed Best Before date.”
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After the woman spotted the best-before date, she took to Facebook, sharing a snap of her label to ask Coles if it should be consumed within a day.
“Is it a normal thing for the best before date to be a day after it’s cooked and bought?” she wrote on the supermarket giant’s page.
Coles got back to her saying their BBQ Chickens “are best consumed within 24 hours” and the labels “should always have a Best Before of the next day on them”.
News.com.au also put the question to Woolworths about its popular hot chicken roast, where we recieved a similar response.
“We encourage customers to eat our hot roast chickens immediately, or refrigerate as soon as possible after purchase for maximum freshness,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
The storage instructions on the outer packaging of its RSPCA-approved chickens state to keep refrigerated at 1-4°C and to consume within 24 hours of purchase.
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According to the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF), 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,” it states on its website.
The ACMF, which is the peak co-ordinating body for participants in the chicken meat industry in Australia, also warns consumers to re-heat leftovers to at least 70C for a minimum of two minutes before eating.
If a product has a use-by date it means it must be eaten before a certain time for health or safety reasons, whereas those with a best-before date can still be eaten for a while after the date, Food Standards Australia states.
If you happen to miss out on a roast chicken at Coles, the supermarket giant has a policy that says if a hot chook isn’t ready to go in the heated cabinet then the company promises to hand over a free bird.
All the shopper has to do is notify staff there’s none available, and the company policy dictates a voucher must be given to use at another time.