Inside The Viral TikTok About Walmart's 'Nasty' Chicken

It's always a good idea to give a close inspection of meat at a supermarket before buying it. Although there's no need to put on a white lab coat and whip out a portable microscope, a second glance to make sure there are no blobs of worryingly green gunk floating around doesn't do any harm.

During one such inspection, a TikToker uncovered what they felt was a food hygiene concern with some bagged chicken at Walmart. The footage, uploaded by user @jess.diazzz, shows packaged chicken with noticeably puffed-up bags. Both in the caption and the video's voiceover, the user suggests that bags with lots of air in them are a sign the meat has gone bad. Claiming that the chicken bags were puffed up because of bacteria present in them, the video then states that airy packaging is a sign that meat has been insufficiently refrigerated and is contaminated. The TikTok user calls out Walmart in the video's description, labelling the chicken "nasty," and asking why it was allowed to go on sale.

With over 8.4 million views and counting, it's safe to say that the video has gone viral. However, the claims made in the video aren't necessarily true, as "puffy" meat bags can have a variety of causes, including some that are completely harmless.

There are many reasons why meat packaging can expand

Although the video has produced plenty of comments from concerned TikTok viewers backing the belief that puffy packaging is a sign of unsafe meat, others believe airy bags to be a result of poor packaging, and not an indication of spoiled food.

EatingWell covered this very topic by speaking with U.S.D.A food safety expert Meredith Carothers, who suggests that while enlarged packaging can be caused by gases produced from bacterial growth, some food packaging is deliberately injected with safe gases to improve the shelf life of products. Taste of Home also consulted an expert on this, professor of food science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Wei Zhang, who adds that some packaging can innocently expand when the air pressure inside is higher than that outside. If food bags (particularly that of meat or dairy) are bloated, EatingWell recommends reading the expiration date, looking for damage, and checking for unpleasant odors before deciding whether to avoid it.

As for the TikTok video, Daily Dot reports that Walmart does not believe the chicken was compromised. Walmart confirmed to the outlet that after consulting with Tyson, the manufacturer of the chicken featured in the video, that the meat was safe to eat, explaining that air may have been captured in the packaging during the regular manufacturing process because it did not involve vacuum sealed bags.