A TikToker uploaded a video about receiving “puffy” chicken that previous content creators have warned people not to buy.
In the video, Alyson Withay (@alyson_withay) informed her followers that she picked up a mobile “drive-up order” from a Target in Sarasota, Florida, and she claimed one of the items she got was not safe to consume. She said she used to work at the store that fulfilled her order and pointed out that the chicken breast she received had a “$1 off” sticker. She said this means that it’s going to expire soon, but she didn’t get the discount because it’s an online order.
“Look at how puffy,” she says as she pokes at the packaging, which is clearly filled with air. “This puffy packaging that you see here is a result from gases being released from bacteria growth. This means that this chicken was left out of temperature for an extended period of time and then they put it out on the sales floor for sale. For human consumption.”
She warned that if someone was to eat the chicken, they would be “seriously ill.”
The video has since garnered over 449,000 views. Withay’s video is one of several recent TikToks warning viewers not to consumer meats in “puffy” packaging. In late November, a TikToker named @p.e.a.c.e.s4u uploaded a now-viral video expressing skepticism over Walmart chicken bags. Another TikToker posted a video on Dec. 20, showing the same thing.
Representatives from the poultry brands featured in both Walmart chicken TikToks told the Daily Dot that “poofy packaging” did not indicate spoilage. The USDA has tips for checking whether chicken is spoiled or not, which include checking for a bad odor, dark color, or slimy texture.
Still, Withay said in a follow-up video that she has received bad chicken from her Target location two or three times. She also said that she knows food handling at the store is an issue because she was familiar with the food safety guidelines used at the Target from her time working there.
She posted another update video telling her followers that she received a refund on the item. She then called out critics of the video and said that people “missed the point of the video, which was about proper food safety handling and the fact that everyone in the store needs to be retrained.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Target for comment.
Update 5:55 pm CT, Dec. 29: When asked by the Daily Dot about the response to her video, Withay said she was shocked by viewers’ “foul” comments and shaming attitudes toward people who order their groceries for pick-up.
“I’m really surprised by how many people commented I should just go in and do my own shopping,” she said. “(And so many were really mean about it – like why?) First, that’s ableist AF. If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s that accessibility is possible. It’s always been possible. But half the comments are just saying no to that. It’s shameful, really.”
She was also surprised people were willing to try the chicken.
“I probably won’t be eating at anyone’s house from now on,” she said. “With the amount of people saying, ‘just cook it enough and it’ll kill off any bacteria’ I’m scared they gonna give out food poisoning like Santa giving out gifts on Christmas.”
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