You decide to bake or roast some chicken for dinner. You prep your chicken and remove any excess fat. You follow prepping instructions perfectly and place your chicken in the oven safe baking dish. Of course, you will be checking on the chicken from time to time.
However, during the cooking process, you notice that there is a red liquid emerging from the chicken while cooking. Your initial reaction would be to throw the chicken out, because this simply does not seem right.
While this may seem to be a cause for concern, the reason is quite simple.
Chicken may absorb water through the chilling process which it releases during cooking. This water may have a pinkish hue to it and is commonly mistaken for blood. However, commercially-sold chicken goes through a preparation process after it has been slaughtered, which includes draining all the blood from the chicken. However, small amounts of blood may remain in the muscle tissue.
Why is there blood coming out of chicken while cooking?
When cooking chicken, you may, from time to time, notice that the chicken releases a red liquid. Of course, this may be alarming to you, as the first thought that pops into your mind whenever preparing chicken is the very real risk of developing salmonella.
You follow all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food preparation advice. You clean the chicken properly, wash and clean your hands, and surfaces, before, during, and after cooking. So what on earth is this red liquid?
The first possible explanation for the red liquid is that it may simply be water. But, this will depend on how deep the red hue is. If it is simply a pinkish-colored liquid, it may, in fact, be pretty harmless.
When poultry is frozen, water is trapped within the fibers of the meat. When the meat is thawed, the water escapes. This could happen during thawing or cooking. Regardless, if you are cooking chicken pieces like drumsticks, wings, or thighs, or if you are cooking a whole chicken, you may see the same pinkish liquid being dispersed.
Is the red liquid in chicken safe to consume?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), provided that the chicken has been sufficiently cooked to an internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to consume. However, if undercooked, the chicken may well be contaminated with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria as well as Campylobacter bacteria. In such a case, the reddish liquid is NOT safe to consume.
This is why it is imperative to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked to the right internal temperature, as consuming undercooked chicken that contains pink chicken juices or raw chicken juice may lead to food poisoning and can be very harmful to your health.
It is always best to make use of a thermometer to check the internal temperature of chicken before consuming it.
Blood in chicken bone after cooking
Have you ever bitten into a juicy piece of chicken drumstick, and as you pull the meat away from the bone, you notice what looks like blood or redness near the bone of the chicken. You recoil in horror at the thought of consuming raw chicken. But, the question is: is the chicken really raw, and is that red blood part of an undercooked chicken?
Blood is carried through the femoral artery that runs along the chicken’s thighbone. This artery carries blood through the chicken’s leg. Even after following correct cooking instructions for the poultry, there may still be some dark red blood or parts of the chicken that seem undercooked. This is not a cause for concern as it is not a health risk. It is common to cook chicken and to still see red at the bone.
Of course, you need to establish if the chicken has been properly cooked. If parts of the meat seem slightly translucent, chances are that the chicken is undercooked and that red part close to the bone is blood. This may be a health risk, and a cause for concern.
Why is there black stuff coming out of my baked chicken?
When you prepare your chicken you may notice that there is, what looks like, black stuff coming out of the chicken.
This is not really a food safety issue and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. During the slaughtering process, the chicken may not be bled out or it may not be properly bled out, or bled out long enough. This may lead to some of the chicken’s blood remaining in the muscle structure of the chicken and it may be cooked along with the chicken.
Although the image may be alarming or odd, it is not a cause for concern.
However, on the other hand, if the color of the chicken has changed to a gray hue, you should immediately discard the chicken as it has spoiled. Similarly, any darkening of spots on the surface of the chicken may be an indicator that the chicken has spoiled. There are certain indicators that will help you identify spoiled chicken.
Why does brown stuff come out of my chicken?
Similarly, brown liquid or discharge from chicken during the cooking process may simply be blood from certain arteries of the chicken. Again, this may be due to the fact that the chicken was not properly bled out after being slaughtered.
The blood turns brown after heat exposure.
Alternatively, the brown discharge could be a result of bone marrow being released during the cooking process. The bone marrow is the same color as blood prior to being cooked. However, the color changes to a brown hue after it has been properly cooked. If the chicken has been temperature shocked, the bone marrow may seep out of the bones and that is what you are noticing.
This is not a cause for concern either and is perfectly safe to consume.
It should not be a cause for concern.
Is it safe to eat cooked chicken with blood?
Provided that the chicken has been cooked to the correct internal temperature, it should not be a problem to consume chicken with a deep red discoloration close to the bone.
When food is properly prepared to the correct temperature, food borne illnesses will not survive, making the food safe to consume. Therefore, bloody chicken may be safe to consume.
However, if the chicken is not properly cooked, do not consume any part of it. You may run the risk of developing salmonella and/or Campylobacter infection. One of the indicators of this type of infection is bloody diarrhea.
How to stop chicken legs, wings, and thighs from bleeding while cooking
The chicken consumed today is generally younger. In addition, the younger chickens tend to have underdeveloped bone structures. Freezing this chicken causes blood to seep into the bones. This blood is then released when the chicken is cooked.
If you want to prevent your chicken pieces from leaking out blood while you are frying or roasting the chicken, you should soak it in a solution of salt and water. This process will help to draw out any additional blood and myoglobin that may still be in the poultry.
Furthermore, soaking the chicken in the salt and water solution will help to make the chicken softer and more juicy as well as enhance the flavor of the chicken.