Former Sprouts butcher shares PSA about marinated meat

@unapologeticallynel/TikTok marekuliasz/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I’ve always suspected this’: Former Sprouts butcher shares PSA about marinated meat

'Literally a coverup for old meat.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Dec 8, 2023   Updated on Dec 8, 2023, 9:15 am CST

Sprouts may have some explaining to do, that is, if it was indeed the grocery store TikToker Nel (@unapologeticallynel) name-dropped in a since-deleted comment in a bombshell video about its sketchy meat practices.

Her video, cheekily titled “Never get meat from the meat counter unless it’s not on the shelves,” is sitting pretty at 359,000 views and counting as of Friday. It’s the kind of insider scoop that makes you rethink your entire grocery list.

In her clip, Nel gets straight to the point, speaking directly to the camera, saying, “I will never get meat from the meat counter unless it’s not on the floor…we pulled so many meat off the floor that was old and put it inside of the meat counter…The marinated stuff is usually old.”

Nel talks about meats getting a second life as marinated chicken or carne asada when they’re past their prime. And the grossest part? “It would be slimy and white, and we would still sell it,” she alleges.

The comments on Nel’s video are a wild mix of shock, nods of agreement, and some nuggets of wisdom. One fellow grocery warrior backs her up, saying, “Yup I worked at the meat department tooooooo this is ALL TRUE.”

Someone else shared a family tip, writing, “Yes! My grandmother taught me marinated meat is literally a coverup for old meat.” And another user added, “For some reason i feel like ive always suspected this and thats why i never buy it. They hide the smell in that marinade too.”

Nel’s not just spilling tea on Sprouts–she’s pointing to a much bigger issue in the supermarket world. For instance, the time a big-time meat supplier in England got busted for mixing rotten meat with fresh. Nel’s video subtly hints that stories like the one to our neighbors across the pond may just be the tip of the iceberg.

@unapologeticallynel never get meat from the meat counter unless its not on the shelves🤢 #fyp #grocerystory ♬ original sound – Unapologetically Nel

Other folks have complained about the quality of meat being sold from Sprouts in the past as well. Redditor @Redvivusllama uploaded a post to the site’s r/phoenix sub asking other folks if they’ve felt that the “quality of sprouts meat [has] gone down hill?”

In their blog, they delineated how in three consecutive shopping ventures they always came back home with the meat they bought (2 pork shoulders and lamb chops) “smelling rancid.”

Again, it must be noted that Nel doesn’t mention Sprouts by name in her video, but it did appear she did indicate that Sprouts was indeed the store in the comments section of the video. Several other viewers speculated it was indeed Sprouts she was referring to, like one person who wrote, “Sprouts hahaha” to which Nel replied, “no you didnttttttt,” with a skull emoji and cry-laughing emoji.

Nel’s video is more than just a juicy, quite odd, story–it’s a power move for the average shopper. It’s all about being smart where you spend your money and asking the tough questions about your food. So, the next time you’re eyeing that marinated steak, just remember Nel’s words and maybe, just maybe, think twice.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Sprouts via email and Nel via TikTok comment. 

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*First Published: Dec 8, 2023, 10:00 am CST