Friday was National Chicken Wing Day... how long do your leftover wings last in your fridge?

There are two types of people in this world - those who live for leftovers, and those who despise them.

I am proudly a leftovers queen, and I’m not ashamed. I grew up in a household where nothing ever went to waste, which carried over into my daily food habits. When I go out to eat, even if I eat almost the entire meal - if there are two little french fries left on the plate, I’ll soon be asking our server for a box so I can take them home (they taste great heated up in the air fryer!)

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There is even scientific proof that some leftovers can actually taste better the next day. But how long is too long for your leftovers to last in the fridge?

A recent dilemma that’s common among Western New Yorkers put this question front and center in my mind. At the beginning of last week, some co-workers and I went out to grab some chicken wings for lunch. Like the good Buffalonians we are, we nearly polished off two dozen on our own, leaving only two delicious wings (one drumstick, one flat) untouched. Me being the leftovers-connoisseur that I am, I of course got a box to put those babies in the office fridge and bring them home for a bite-sized late-night snack.


But then, the unthinkable happened. I forgot about them. Those perfectly crispy, delicately sauced wings sat untouched in the work fridge for a whole week. How could I let such a tragedy happen? Were they still okay to eat a week later?

Most Western New Yorkers would say that chicken wings are totally fine to eat a week later (if they even last that long without someone eating them), and for the most part, I tend to agree. But even I know that leftovers have their limits.

How long do chicken wings really last in the fridge?

FDA Refrigerator Freezer Chart

According to the FDA, leftover chicken wings can be safely eaten within three to four days of storing them in the fridge under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and no more than two hours if left at room temperature. Heartbreaking! 

What would happen if you were to dig in any way? Well, wing-lovers - although it’s rare, by eating old chicken wings, you could be putting yourself at risk for foodborne illness (food poisoning) and a very unpleasant day/night ahead. Even though it may hurt and cause some tears, if you have to question if your leftover wings are still good to eat, the safest bet is to just throw them away.

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