Skip to Content

What Are The Red Spots On Chicken? #1 Best Answer

What Are The Red Spots On Chicken? Chicken, especially when purchased from the grocery store, is meat that you want to cook properly. Chicken is one of the highest causes of Salmonella. If the chicken you are cooking has gone bad or is not cooked properly, you are at risk.

With this in mind, if you go to cook your chicken and notice red spots on it, this can be alarming. So are red spots on chicken something to be worried about?

What Are The Red Spots On Chicken?

The red spots that you see on chickens are typically blood spots. While they may look alarming, you can safely eat your chicken if it has not spoiled. Red spots are usually something that you see on chicken that was not handled properly. If the chickens are not prepared and processed properly, the appearance of the meat will be poor.

What Are the Red Spots on Chicken?
What Are the Red Spots on Chicken?

Why Improper Handling and Processing Can Lead To Red Spots

The main cause behind the red spots on the chickens is the handling and processing of the chickens in the processing plant. If your chicken meat comes from a plant that does not adhere to proper bite hearing methods, you will notice these red spots. Blood needs to be properly drained from the chicken before butchering it.

Poor handling and butchering methods can lead to blood pooling in unintended areas of your chicken meat. Chickens that have also been raised too quickly can display red spots on their meat when it is raw.

Red Spots in Chicken Are Blood Spots That Result from A Variety of Factors.
Red Spots in Chicken Are Blood Spots That Result from A Variety of Factors.

If a chicken has been raised too quickly in poor conditions, you are more likely to see red spots on the legs and thighs of your cuts of chicken. If the chicken that you are eating was fed extra amounts in an effort to increase its size rapidly, blood vessels can break even before the chicken is butchered.

If, during the butchering process, the chicken isn’t prepared properly, it will have red spots on it when it is uncooked. Usually, this is an indication of a butchering job that was done quickly or with a lack of skill.

How Refrigeration Can Lead To Red Spots

Another cause of red spots is the rate at which the meat is refrigerated or frozen after butchering. If it is chilled or frozen quickly and there is any remaining blood, the spots will come to the surface. This is because the veins in the meat constrict as it drops in temperature.

This constriction can force out any remaining blood that has not been drained. This will lead to you seeing blood spots in areas around the veins.

This typically happens with refrigeration, as when chicken is flash frozen, it freezes so quickly that any remaining blood does not have a chance to be released from the veins.

Chicken That is Chilled or Frozen Too Quickly May Have Red Spots As Remaining Blood in the Veins Are Not Properly Drained.
Chicken That is Chilled or Frozen Too Quickly May Have Red Spots As Remaining Blood in the Veins Are Not Properly Drained.

How To Get Rid Of Red Spots On Chicken

You can remove the red spots on your chicken by boiling it. The red spots are blood. Boiling it cooks the chicken in a way that will flush the blood out from under the skin.

When boiling chicken to remove red spots, you can boil it before cooking it with other methods. However, if you end up cooking your chicken, make sure that it is at USDA standard temperatures of 165 °F.

If you cook your chicken using a different method, you may find that the red spots remain. This does not mean that your chicken is not safe to eat, it just means that blood has been trapped beneath the skin. You will notice that cooked blood will darken in color. You can still safely eat chicken that has dark red spots.

oiling Removes Red Spots on Chicken
Boiling Removes Red Spots on Chicken.

How To Tell If Chicken Is Spoiled

While red spots are not typically an indication that your chicken has spoiled, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Even if your chicken is not past the ‘best by’ date on the packaging, it can still be spoiled.

One indication that your chicken has spoiled is if there is a significant smell. Chicken should have a mild to no odor. If there is an odor, your chicken is most likely spoiled. If this is the case, you will notice the smell even before the chicken is cooked.

Another sign that your chicken is spoiled is the texture. Chicken that has spoiled will feel slimy. This is a sign that your chicken has bactericide growth. As the bacteria grow, the presence of salmonella changes the texture, feel, and odor of your chicken.

While red spots are not the main sign of your chicken being spoiled, if you notice a change in texture, smell, or additional discoloration, you should toss your chicken.

Red Spots Do Not Necessarily Indicate Spoilage. It is Important to Check For Other Signs Of Spoilage Like Texture, Odor and Proper Handling Method.
Red Spots Do Not Necessarily Indicate Spoilage. It is Important to Check For Other Signs Of Spoilage Like Texture, Odor and Proper Handling Method.

Conclusion to What are the Red Spots on Chicken?

The red spots on raw chicken come from improper handling or processing of the meat. The red spots are areas of blood that weren’t drained properly.

While they may look unappetizing, chicken with red spots is safe to eat and the spots usually disappear during the cooking process. Red spots on the raw chicken can also happen when the chicken meat is chilled quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Red Spots On Chicken

What is the ideal temperature for cooked chicken?

When you are cooking chicken you want to get it to at least 165 °F. If you do not reach this temperature there isn’t enough heat to kill off potentially harmful bacteria.

Do red spots on chicken affect the nutritional value of the meat?

Red spots on chicken do not affect the overall nutritional value of your chicken. These spots are just areas where the blood has not been properly drained. Once you cook your chicken, the spots will disappear.

If the red spots don’t disappear while I’m cooking my chicken, is it still safe to eat?

Depending on the method of cooking you are using, you may notice that the red spots do not disappear. You will notice that they have darkened. As long as you have cooked your chicken to the right temperature, your chicken will still be safe to eat. The spots remain because the blood wasn’t able to get out and cooked along with your meat.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.