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What Are The Red Spots On Chicken Meat

What Are The Red Spots On Chicken Meat? Answered (2023)

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by Shari Mason

Chicken meat is a popular and nutritious dietary staple for many people worldwide. However, when you buy your chicken from the 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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

FAQs

What causes red spots on chicken legs?

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. 

What causes red spots on chicken breasts?

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. 

Other possible causes of red spots include bacterial or fungal infection, improper storage, or exposure to sunlight.

What causes red spots on chicken wings?

A variety of factors can cause red spots on chicken wings. The most common cause is environmental contamination, such as bacteria or viruses. 

This can occur if the chicken wings have been exposed to unsanitary or contaminated surfaces or if they have been improperly stored or handled. 

Other 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.

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/animal/chicken
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329
Shari Mason

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