Pre-packaged meat is a convenient way to prepare a meal, but one woman has claimed there is a way to tell if the chicken is off, by whether or not the bag is puffy.
TikToker MT microbiologist posted a video to the video-sharing app, duetting with another clip where a user claimed if the chicken is in a puffy bag, it means they were left without refrigeration.
The TikTok has people second-guessing their supermarket poultry after she explained when you see a chicken in a 'puffy bag' is it full of bacteria.
"That's exactly what it means," the microbiologist replied to the woman's original TikTok.
"The gas within those bags is produced by bacteria and is feasting on the chicken.
"So you ingest the chicken and ingest the bacteria and even if you've cooked that chicken the chances are toxins are still present.
"Do not eat chicken when the bags are that poofy," she urged viewers. "'Do not do it"
Many users were disgusted by the claims, admitting they hadn't heard this before.
"That's why I stopped buying the bags long time ago," one user responded. "Opened one once and the smell nearly knocked me off my feet."
"Thanks for sharing," wrote another. 'I did not know this."
USDA says claims are untrue
Although TikTok claimed a puffy bag means the meat is full of toxins, a report published by Verify said it wasn't true.
"A puffed-up bag of frozen chicken doesn’t mean the poultry is spoiled. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved method of packaging used by chicken processors can make the bag look puffy, which our sources say is an indicator the bag is properly sealed," it said.
A spokesperson from Perdue, who sold the chicken featured in the video, told the publication that the puffy bags actually indicate it has been sealed properly.
“The product is dropped into the bag, and sealer bars put pressure on the bag, which puffs the bag with ambient air,” the Perdue spokesperson said.
“To say that the chicken is spoiled because of the puffiness of the bag is inaccurate. If the product was in fact spoiled, you would see discoloration (e.g., grey, green, etc.), smell an off odor, and potentially even see leaking.”
In Australia, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation says to always make sure packages don't have any tears or broken seals and don’t buy if it has been opened or damaged.
They also recommend taking perishable food home immediately and refrigerate or freeze. If traveling long distances, keep meat in an esky in the car.
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