August 17, 2018
Is Pink-Tinged Chicken Safe to Eat?
Ask the Experts

Is Pink-Tinged Chicken Safe to Eat?

by Berkeley Wellness  

Q: When I cook chicken, the meat around the bones sometimes has a pink tinge. Is it safe to eat?

A: Yes. “Safely cooked poultry can vary in color from white to pink to tan,” according to the USDA. What you see is pigment from bone marrow, which can leach out as the meat is cooked, producing a pink, gray, or brownish tinge. This happens more often in poultry that has been frozen and in smaller birds (broilers and fryers).

Despite what you may read in some cookbooks, checking for poultry doneness by cooking until the meat is no longer pink or until “juices run clear” is not a reliable gauge of doneness. The best bet is to use a food thermometer, which should read at least 165°F.

Also see Do You Handle Poultry Properly?