I just bought some fresh cut meat from the local market. I've cleaned it and put it for brining. The chicken is smelly and has a yellowish color. I also got a lot more fat than usual while cleaning it.

I know that storage affects chicken quality, but this is fresh cut meat. Could fresh cut chicken be bad? How do I tell the best quality chicken and what factors affect the quality?

  • generally, smelly meat means not fresh. it could have stayed a carcass for a while before being cut. so the cut is fresh :)
    – MandoMando
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 23:30
  • @MandoMando Stayed a carcass? The local market here keeps live chickens which are cut on customer request. It still doesn't seem fresh. What I'm concerned is that could it have a disease or something? Could it be a result of chicken not being given proper feed? Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 4:15

2 Answers 2


The yellow color could be just a sign of what it was fed. According to the USDA:


  1. What is the usual color of raw poultry? Raw poultry can vary from a bluish-white to yellow. All of these colors are normal and are a direct result of breed, exercise, age, and/or diet. Younger poultry has less fat under the skin, which can cause the bluish cast, and the yellow skin could be a result of marigolds in the feed.

You could have an older chicken that had marigolds in what it was fed.

On the flip side, I was always taught that if any meat smells bad, it isn't good to eat. If it was my chicken in the kitchen, I would take it back to the store or just throw it out.

If you are still debating on if it is good to eat, you could always take it back to the store where you purchased it, or contact the USDA Poultry Hotline.

  • 1
    here they forcefeed (or used to, not seen them much in recent years) maize to some chickens in order to fatten them up. Turns their fat and skin a sickly yellow. Some people prefer it that way, especially for cooking soup.
    – jwenting
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 5:42

Some chickens are deliberately bred to have a yellowish colour. Apparently people associate it with free range or organic farming.

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