Costco Customers Are in Shock After Finding Green Rotisserie Chicken

Is it safe to eat? We get to the bottom of a Reddit mystery.

<p>Getty Images/Allrecipes</p>

Getty Images/Allrecipes

At this point, Costco’s rotisserie chickens are ubiquitous with the warehouse store—it’s hard to visit a Costco location and not walk out with a beautifully bronzed bird. While the $4.99 chickens are a virtually unmatched deal and consistently crowd-pleasing weeknight time-saver, they also deliver on taste. After all, Costco won our grocery store rotisserie chicken taste test by a healthy margin. But like all great things, Costco’s chickens come with their fair share of internet controversy these days.

The chickens have been in the news several times. Last month, it was for a change in packaging, but last year, they were in the headlines when it came out that they have a shelf life of only 2 hours. Perhaps most damningly, the chickens have allegedly made some customers ill, giving them digestive issues.

So it’s no surprise that the latest poultry problems have caused quite a stir on Reddit, where one customer pondered why the inside of their rotisserie chicken looked unlike any they’d bought before. No, it wasn’t pink or raw—it was green.

Why Is Costco's Rotisserie Chicken Green on the Inside?

Reddit user @flytiger posted to the r/Costco page wondering why their Costco chicken was green, writing, “Is this normal? We cut into our chicken for dinner and it’s green. I have no idea what it could be.” They also attached a photo, which shows the inner body of the meat tinted a yellowish-green hue.

Unsurprisingly, the post turned some stomachs (ours included), eliciting hundred of comments. What would cause that color and is it safe to eat? We got to the bottom of the meaty mystery.

Many of the top comments on the post suggested the hue was a result of ischemic myopathy or deep pectoral myopathy, colloquially known as Green Breast or Green Muscle Disease. According to the USDA, Green Breast is a condition in larger chickens and turkeys, especially older birds, wherein the breasts of these birds grow too large for blood supply. The muscles on the inner breast tenders can die and turn green as a result.

Before you get too grossed out, it’s important to note that this condition is not caused by a pathogen that would cause any kind of foodborne illness. As the USDA puts it, “None of the stages of ischemic myopathy present a food safety hazard to the consumers.” So technically speaking, green chicken is still safe to consume. However, the texture is likely to be more fibrous, and as a result, not as appetizing.

Was ischemic myopathy behind the green Costco chicken? Most likely, yes. Many commercially raised chickens (especially cheaper ones) are fed a diet designed to speed up their growth, and especially to grow larger chicken breasts, since that’s what we Americans love to eat. It’s also possible that the chickens getting roasted are older chickens. Costco is likely able to supply its customers with so many chickens at such a great cost by taking advantage of these less-than-savory facts and practices.

However, while Green Muscle Disease is becoming more common it’s still pretty rare (the last similar Reddit post we found was from 5 years ago), so your chances of getting a green rotisserie chicken are relatively low. If you do, know that it is edible, but if you want to bring it back to the store and return it, we’re pretty sure Costco is more than likely to oblige.

Read the original article on All Recipes.