Costco Customers Notice ‘Chemical Flavor’ in Rotisserie Chicken

Costco shoppers are using social media to inquire about the status of their beloved pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and the funny taste.

Costco Under Fire for ‘Chemical Tasting Chicken’

A question was posted on the r/Costco subreddit by Reddit user u/MillennialModernMan on February 27, regarding a worrisome pattern they had observed with Costco’s rotisserie chicken.

The post titled “What’s up with the rotisserie chicken lately?” by the Reddit user states that the taste of the product has changed from its usual flavor and queries if anyone can provide an explanation.

“I was at Costco today and bought my rotisserie chicken just like every time I’m there,” they wrote. “We tasted it and it has a distinct chemical flavor to it, really off-putting. Same thing happened last time, about 3 weeks ago. This was never a problem before, been buying it for years, has something changed recently?”

Although the original poster did not specifically mention the location from where they obtained their Costco chicken, their other posts suggest that they reside on the West Coast.

Commenters Filled the Queue

Several other users concurred with the initial poster’s observation and shared their own encounters with the ever-reliable rotisserie chicken in the comments section.

“Thank you for posting this. I thought I was losing it/had Covid again when I tried a rotisserie chicken recently and it tasted…chemically and soapy? So odd,” replied one Redditor.

“Yes, I’ve noticed a distinct chlorine-like taste. I’ve stopped eating it, about a year(?) ago due to the strange chemical taste. I use the Albany, OR store,” wrote another Redditor.

Theories Fly

Some Redditors proposed an alternate theory, suggesting that the change in flavor could be attributed to the type of chicken used and the method used for cooling after slaughter, to prevent bacterial growth.

“At the warehouse i work at, i don’t know about other warehouses, but we get chicken from two suppliers,” posited another Redditor, adding that they refer to it as “bad chicken.”

“Deli worker here. We get two different types of chickens,” commented another Redditor. “One is our in-house brand from our processing plant in Nebraska. The other is foster farms. The foster farm chickens are of lower quality and tend to cook differently than ours. Which is (due to) the fact that they’re water cooled while ours are air chilled. Our chickens are raised in Nebraska, while fosters are from California. If your chicken is gross, it’s most likely due to the fact that it’s a foster farm chicken.”

In 2019, Costco opened a chicken facility in Nebraska that produces an astonishing 2 million chickens per week to be distributed to its stores. Still, that is only enough to fulfill 43% of its rotisserie supply — and 33% of its raw chicken supply, meaning that some customers’ chickens are supplied in other ways.

A representative for Costco declined to comment to

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