Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,711
Registered: ‎10-22-2018

Last month I went online to check the latest refrigeration recommendations for fresh poultry. I was surprised it's use or freeze within 48 hours of going into your refrigerator no matter what the package best, sell or use by date says.

Super Contributor
Posts: 267
Registered: ‎07-14-2019

Re: A Turkey Tale of Woe

[ Edited ]

Good lord, a "fresh" turkey sitting in the fridge for 10 days will absolutely go bad!  Even a 11lb frozen turkey would take 2-3 days to unthaw in the fridge and then only good for an addition 2 days in fridge.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,507
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Re: A Turkey Tale of Woe

[ Edited ]

I bought my 11 pound Butterball turkey frozen. I put it in refrigerator 3 days ahead of time to thaw and it still had a very small amount of ice in the cavity. It also had the perforations but mine was fine and wasn't leaking.

  The one thing I did notice (and was a little disappointed in this year) was I didn't think it had quite as much flavor as usual. I have been having trouble with allergies so maybe my taste was a little off???  We have always had great Butterball turkeys.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 998
Registered: ‎04-12-2010

@hick I would have made the same mistake and thought it would be fine by the sell by date!  Hope your dinner was still good!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,296
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

@Big Joanie wrote:

@Kachina624 wrote:

I can't imagine keeping any unfrozen meat for 10 days and expecting it to stay fresh.  My mom bought fresh turkeys and always picked them up the day before she cooked them.  I've always bought frozen.

That is exactly what I was going to say .. I can't imagine keeping any fresh

meat for keeping 10 days ....We used to get fresh turkeys at a turkey farm and we

would pick them up no sooner than the Tuesday before .....usually Wednesday ....

So does the sell by date not mean anything then? When I buy meat, I go by the sell by date. If it said sell by the 28th, I think it should have been good till the 28th. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,296
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

@hick wrote:

This has NEVER happened to me before in all my years (many) of roasting turkeys.

10 days ago, I bought a fresh ButterBall turkey - about 11 lbs.  I always buy BB.  In my opinion, it's the best.  Sell by date was 11/28.

The turkey had been in the fridge since I brought it home.  After several days, I noticed a smell.  Hmmmm I thought.  What's this about???  The smell got a little stronger.  I called the BB hot line.  The woman told me that a poultry smell was normal.  Long story short - I decided to cook the turkey yesterday.  Opened it and got knocked out by the smell.  UGH!!!  Smelled up my whole kitchen.  Gross!!!!!

Brought it back to the store (in a double bagged black bag)  and had to get a Shady Brook.  Not a happy camper was I.

I called the BB hot line again.  They were very nice and connected me to their Consumer complaint person.  She took a lot of info.  I told her the following was my theory - BB has "improved" their packaging and now has a way of opening the plastic without needing scissors or a knife.  I think that this "seal" was not air tight, air got into the turkey and Voila!  stinky turkey.

Anyway....cooked the Shady Brook - not nearly as good as BB but did finally get the smell out of my kitchen.

Thankful for everything, everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving all.


I'm sorry that happened to you, I feel like this is a thing where BB should leave well enough alone. If its not broke, don't fix it by messing with the backaging. 

I'd have thought it should have still been good by the sell by date too. What are we to go by, if we can't go by the sell by date?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,701
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I am glad you were able to get a replacement turkey in time. 


I would never in a million years leave a raw protein in my fridge for 9+ days.  I'm sure many people do with no issues, but IMO just no.