What Are The Red Spots On Chicken Meat

What Are The Red Spots On Chicken Meat? Answered

Last Updated on July 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Chicken is a popular and healthy food option for people around the world. However, when buying chicken from the grocery store or butcher, you may sometimes see small red spots on the meat.

These spots may be alarming if you’re unfamiliar with them, so it’s important to understand what they are and how they affect the safety and quality of your chicken. 

So what are the red spots on chicken meat? Let’s find out.

Red Spots On Chicken Meat – What Are They?

hand holding whole chicken

Red spots on chicken meat can be alarming, as they signify spoilage. However, they are usually harmless as these are just blood accumulations due to improper handling.

The spots can be caused by several factors though, including poor storage and handling, improper cooking, or even a fungal infection. 

Knowing the signs of spoilage is important to keep your food safe. If the red spots on your chicken are accompanied by a bad odor, slimy texture, or discoloration, it is likely that the meat has gone bad and should be thrown out. 

However, if you notice small, dry red spots on your chicken, they may be caused by a fungal infection. These spots are not accompanied by an odor and can typically be removed with a knife. 

The chicken [1] is generally safe to consume if the red spots are scraped away. If the red spots persist after scraping, the chicken should be discarded. 

Read: Can There Be Worms In Chicken Meat?

What Are The Red Dots On Cooked Chicken?

The red dots on cooked chicken are caused by an iron-containing pigment called hemoglobin. When the chicken is cooked, this pigment is exposed to heat and oxygen and reacts to form a bright red color. 

“If you eat a chicken wing or a chicken tender in some parts of the country, I probably supplied it.”

– Herschel Walker, American Athlete

This is a perfectly safe and normal occurrence and signifies that the chicken is done cooking.

Read: Why Can You Eat Duck Rare But Not Chicken?

What Causes These Red Spots?

Several things, including bacteria, parasites, or an allergic reaction, can cause red spots on the chicken.

Bacterial infections, such as salmonella, can cause red spots on chicken, as can parasites, such as coccidia or tapeworms. 

Allergic reactions can also cause red spots on chicken, often due to an intolerance to certain feed components like corn or wheat.

Cleanliness and proper cooking practices can help to reduce the risk of red spots on chicken.

Read: Can Chicken Breast Be Bruised?

Are Purple Spots On Raw Chicken Breast Safe?

chicken breast on a wooden board

No, purple spots on the raw chicken breast are not safe. These spots may indicate an infection with potentially harmful bacteria like salmonella [2] or campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning. 

Always inspect raw chicken carefully before cooking and discard any chicken with discolored spots or an off odor.

Read: How Long Does Raw Chicken Last In The Fridge?

How To Clean Blood On Raw Chicken

When cleaning blood on raw chicken, washing your hands with warm soapy water is important. 

It would help if you used a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the blood away gently. If there is still some blood present, you can use mild detergent and cold water to scrub the affected area. 

Once the blood has been removed, rinse the chicken and dry it with a paper towel before cooking.

Signs That Raw Chicken Might Have Gone Bad

  1. Unusual smell: If your raw chicken has a strong, unpleasant scent, it is likely no longer safe to eat. 
  2. Color change: Raw chicken should be a light pink color. If it is turning grey or green, it is past its prime. 
  3. Slimy texture: If the chicken feels slimy to the touch, it is likely spoiled. 
  4. Expiration date: Pay attention to the expiration date and discard any raw chicken past its prime.


u003cstrongu003eWhat causes red spots on chicken legs?u003c/strongu003e

A variety of issues can cause red spots on chicken legs. The most common cause is a condition known as scaly leg mites, which are tiny, spider-like creatures that live in the feathers and skin of chickens. 

u003cstrongu003eWhat causes red spots on chicken breasts?u003c/strongu003e

A few different things can cause red spots on chicken breasts. The most common cause is bruising, which can occur if the chicken is handled too roughly during processing or packaging. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eOther possible causes of red spots include bacterial or fungal infection, improper storage, or exposure to sunlight.

u003cstrongu003eWhat causes red spots on chicken wings?u003c/strongu003e

A variety of factors can cause red spots on chicken wings. The most common cause is environmental contamination, such as bacteria or viruses. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis can occur if the chicken wings have been exposed to unsanitary or contaminated surfaces or if they have been improperly stored or handled. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eOther causes of red spots on chicken wings can include bruising, inflammation, or an allergic reaction.

Key Takeaways

The red spots on chicken meat likely result from blood accumulation caused by improperly slaughtered birds. 

While these spots may appear alarming, they are usually harmless and do not necessarily indicate spoiled meat. 

As always, it’s important to take proper safety measures when handling and cooking raw chicken to ensure it is safe to eat.


Shari Mason

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