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Costco Shopper Reports Major Rotisserie Chicken Issue: 'Not Normal'

Those famous $4.99 birds came under scrutiny this week thanks to a viral Reddit post.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Last year, Costco's famous $4.99 rotisserie chickens came under heavy scrutiny after scores of shoppers complained of an offputting "chemical" taste in the poultry. Now, those popular roasted birds are facing backlash yet again after one member reported a major issue with the product, shocking their fellow customers.

A Costco shopper took to Reddit this week to ask other members for insight after discovering that the interior of their rotisserie chicken (140 calories per serving) was green. They shared a photo of the offending bird, which was indeed tinged green on the inside despite looking completely normal on the outside.

"Is this normal? We cut into our chicken for dinner and it's green. I have no idea what it could be," they wrote.

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Considering the massive popularity of Costco's rotisserie chickens, it should come as no surprise that other members had a lot to say about the problem. In the 160+ comments the post has racked up since it was published, many speculated that the bird was dealing with a condition called ischemic myopathy, or "green breast." According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the issue can manifest in large turkeys and chickens.

"In these large birds, the superficial and deep pectoral (breast) muscles are very large, almost too large for the blood supply," the department notes on its website. "When these birds are very active and flap their wings a lot, they can damage the blood supply to the deep pectoral (also known as the breast tender) muscle. Muscle without blood supply dies. The muscle turns green during this process and appears fibrous like green wood."

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Costco rotisserie chickens
calimedia / Shutterstock

The USDA said that the green tissue will eventually be replaced with white, fibrous scar tissue if the bird isn't slaughtered. It also added that ischemic myopathy doesn't present any food safety hazards to consumers.

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Costco did not immediately respond to our queries for comment on the coloring issue and what may have caused it, so shoppers should take the ischemic myopathy speculations with a grain of salt. But even without clarity on what may have caused the chicken to develop green meat, many shoppers were extremely put off by the discovery.

"Oh my, I gagged. Not normal," one Redditor commented on the photo.

"Regardless if it's safe or not, I would personally be too skeeved out to eat it," another wrote.

This isn't the only major news surrounding Costco's rotisserie chickens to emerge recently. Last month, Costco began selling the birds in plastic bags at some warehouses, replacing the clear plastic containers it has long used in the United States. An apparent Costco memo shared on Reddit in a now-deleted post indicated the new bags are more environmentally friendly than the old containers, though Costco hasn't responded to our previous inquiries for comment on the change.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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