What the…MOLD in unopened Swanson’s Chicken Broth??

Yesterday, the kids and I ventured over to Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora to see how they were coming along with their Halloween setup. Last year, they had this amazing selection of pumpkins, along with lots of fun activities for kids. This year, they assured me that it’s going to be even better – they’re adding a maze and haunted house. Fun! We’ll go back in a week or two and check it out. While we were there, I picked up a bushel of roasted green chiles. Yum! Winter is coming, and I LOVE fresh roasted chiles for making chile rellenos and green chile.

While the kids painted the “baby pumpkins” we bought along with the green chiles, I settled in to make a big, steaming pot of green chile. My meat was sizzling away in the pot when I reached for a box of Swanson’s Chicken Broth – thank GOD I didn’t just dump the thing directly into my green chile, because it was apparently growing an alien baby inside the box. I opened the seal and thought to myself, “Is that MOLD?”

I leaned down and sniffed, and it smelled…mostly like chicken broth. A little like nasty, too. Like chicken broth with a hint of chicken ass. So rather than pour the broth directly into my precious pot of green chile, I decided to pour it in a glass first. Something was definitely STUCK in there, and when I squeezed the box a little, THIS plopped out:

After I ran around the room screaming in horror, I started poking at it. Apparently, it’s a large sheet of mold that formed inside the container of Swanson’s Chicken Broth. I have no idea HOW – it was completely sealed up, and I just bought it a couple of weeks ago. You can see from the expiration date that it’s not old or anything. I poured the rest into the sink, and realized there was more gunk inside the container:

One good squeeze into the sink, though, and the rest of it plopped out. I told you my Swanson’s broth was gestating an alien baby!

Making my own chicken stock sounds SUPER appealing right about now. I can’t even understand how something like this happens? Have you ever seen anything like this? I’m accustomed to the little pat of fat that you find on top of your packaged broth, but a huge sheet of MOLD? Bleahhh!

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  1. Sadia says:

    Ewww eww eww ewwwwwwwwwww. No more Swanson’s in our house. Oh, right, we never bought that brand to start with.

    I hope you’re contacting the company, and the grocery store.

  2. Julie says:

    “Like chicken broth with a hint of chicken ass.” v. funny! Thanks for the humorous post and the great play-by-play pictures. And OMG, that is soooooo gross!

    BTW, making your own broth is easy (maybe I need to blog my recipe…hmmm….) and also gives you a good use for the parts of a chicken that might otherwise not get used (neck, giblets, wings). AND you don’t have to worry about it being over salty. Or moldy, apparently ;)

  3. Anne (Jemand hat mein K gestohlen!) says:

    That’s gross man. Heeb.

  4. Janelle says:

    Ack! That is nasty!! I will never pour chicken broth directly into a pot of stuff again. Grossety-gross-gross!

  5. LaDonna says:

    Ewwww…..Gross! The box must’ve gotten compromised somehow.

  6. LaLaLaura says:

    On the phone now with Campbells/Swansons – been transferred twice, given all the info twice, on hold for…5 minutes now, listening to “Mmm, Mmm, Good!” as muzak. Oooh, on hold in Spanish now…

  7. LaLaLaura says:

    Okay, FINALLY got transferred to someone who wanted to talk to me – she took down all the info from the package, apologized, and is sending me a coupon. YAY.

    No offer of therapy, or anything like that. Ha!

    laura Reply:

    Help!!! AWWWW! That just happened to me only I accidentally consumed some!!!
    aye!!!! I looked up “spoiled chicken broth” online and found your site.

  8. Lisa says:


    that is all.

  9. Loretta says:

    EWWW!!! That is creepy gross. Alien babies in the chicken broth, beh. I will never pop open a box of broth and pour directl into the pan ever again ….

  10. Carlena says:

    EEEEWWWWW!!!! I’m so glad that we use Progressive in a can Chicken broth. Yuck!!!

  11. Lisa says:

    Everyone look at the container picture toward the bottom. There is a large slice in the container that was almost certainly caused by a stock boy slicing the shrink wrap off the entire case.
    This would cause oxygen to get into container which would then produce mold. This can happen to any carton variety broth.

  12. LaLaLaura says:

    Update: 2 weeks later, no coupons yet.

  13. Bethany says:

    Ewww that is seriously so gross!!!! Yummy…not.



  15. patrick says:

    So, some time last summer I poured some Swanson Chicken Broth into a pot of homemade Minestrone. Instantly I was hit with a terrible smell. The broth was rancid and runied a pot full of pancetta and vegetables. So I got my Swanson coupons after sitting on hold for 15 minutes. I will say my customer service rep was very friendly. Today I am cooking the same pot of soup…I open the Swanson broth (that I got with my $3 off coupon), take a whiff this time before pouring it in and again it is RANCID. I have no other broth in the house so I can’t finish my soup. 5 inches off snow on the ground so I can’t do anything with it. This time I won’t be so friendly on the phone. What am I gonna use the coupon for?! More stock?!

  16. patrick says:

    Follow up:
    Just spent 19 minutes 33 seconds of my time on the phone to be told that:

    -my barcode doesn’t exist
    -that it must be the grocery stores fault
    -no supervisor could take my call
    -I can get more coupons…no thanks

  17. LaLaLaura says:

    Patrick, I’m not surprised to hear about Campbell’s/Swanson trying to weasel out of responsibility – did you see this post of mine, following up?


    It shows proof of someone affiliated with Campbells leaving a fake, anonymous comment here, trying to explain away the situation. So tacky!

  18. Tonja says:

    I just googled “swanson chicken broth rancid” and came up with your website. I JUST opened AND ruined supper because I poured 1/2 a can of rancid chicken broth into the mix. I was pouring and thought the color was off…. I tasted it and YUCK! Has anyone gotten sick from tasting rancid chicken broth???? This was a sealed can… how the heck can it be rancid?????? I feel sick, but don’t know if its just my imagination because I tasted the stuff……

  19. Lindsey says:

    I just had the exact same thing happen to me- I am so disgusted and angry !!!! BLECK I don’t even want a coupon I am NEVER buying Swanson broth EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Michelle says:

    OMG! I just experienced this thing in the Swanson Chicken Broth. I also was cooking and poured it into the pot and ruined dinner. This was so gross. I had to start supper over for my family, however I couldn’t get this image out of my head and couldn’t stomach to eat anything. It looked like a snake embrio or slimy intestines. I will call the company, but I don’t want a coupon because I will be making my own chicken broth from now on.

  21. silvia C says:

    I just foun the same mold, this was so gross, looked like embrio or intestines and smell gross.

  22. Kevin says:

    I had the same thing happen with Swansons chicken broth recently. I bought two cartons, and BOTH were completely disgusting. I called and complained, and they are sending me the coupons.
    After finding the 2nd rancid container of stock, I am staying away from the brand.

  23. Regina Balvanz says:

    I’ve only bought their broth a couple times but I’ve always thought it wasn’t as good as the broth I make using Better Than Boullion. Now that I’ve seen your site, I’m never buying liquid broth again. It’s just as easy to make broth with Boullion and I’ve never seen any nasty mold. YUCK!

  24. Craig Fletcher says:

    I buy the Swansons Chicken Broth at Costco in the case of cans. The wife has a hard time with the pop tops on the cans so she uses the electric can opener if I’m not there to pop the tops. She was looking at the black flakes in the broth and wondering…… I looked at the can just below the lid and there was a black line of crud there. At least Costco has a return policy that can’t be beat.

  25. donna says:

    Same thing just happened to me and Swanson said “It is just mold”. WHAT??? Since when is this OK???

  26. donna says:

    They are send me coupons to replace the boxes of broth….anybody want them????

  27. Marie says:

    Hello, this same thing just happened to me… I believe they are parasitic worms. I called Campbells (they own Swanson) and they are sending me shipping stuff to send it back to their lab for testing. Mine crawled back into the chicken broth box!! I am pursuing this if you would like to contact me. This is not mold and I call BS on anyone that says it is… mold doesn’t crawl! I also contacted my local health department for the county and made a report, I have pictures and told them they are welcome to come to my house to obtain samples.

  28. Eileen says:

    Now I see this I bought Swanson chicken broth and it smelled like rotten meat. So they didn’t fix the problem FDA has to see so many complaints. Just a warning smell your food!!!

  29. brooke says:

    Same thing happened to me tonite.. ex date Oct 2012.. out plopped a frickin frog fetus. Gross sh*t.

  30. laura says:

    This is not ok! I just saw how many people responded to this and had this happen to them. Had I known anything like this ever happened I would never, nor will I ever use the stuff again!!!!!!

  31. jaime says:

    this just happen to me!! lucky i poured it into a measuring cup first….. so much mold!

  32. ara says:

    My swanson broth was exactly the same! It seemed like it had a piece of raw chicken in there, and it got moldy.


  33. anna says:

    Just found it in my veg. broth!!! UGGGG! Totally gross!
    Looks like a piece of lasagnia noodles with mold and sludge on it!!!!!!!!!!
    And it is to expire in 2 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Lilly says:

    Just found it in my Beef Broth by Swanson. Ruined an entire batch of Meat sauce. At first I didn’t catch it, but I heard this god awful PLOP when I tried to pour it into the sauce. Then, there were these black things in it and when I took them out, they MOVED. What in the ever loving hell is Swanson/Campbells doing?!

  35. Dave says:

    I’ve worked in retail for almost a decade now, and I have to say that this doesn’t at all surprise me, and frankly, the people swearing they’ll never buy Swanson/Campbell’s again are overreacting.

    I’ve seen cheese that was moldy right off of the delivery truck. I’ve seen bags of candy that were wide open (the entire seam of the bag didn’t seal). I’ve seen juice boxes that are still months away from their best-before date start to swell as if fermenting. I’ve seen cans of pet food broken open and crawling with maggots. I’ve seen perfectly sealed bags of rice with mites crawling around inside. I’ve seen cans of tomato sauce rusted through. I could go on, but my point is that no process or piece of equipment is perfect, and no packaging is immune to damage. Sometimes something nasty can get into the product in production, or the container might not be sealed perfectly, or the seal might be compromised in transport or storage.

  36. Lora says:

    This happened to me too, so I opened all of my chicken broths (several different brands!) and they ALL had mold in them. I called all the companies and they all said that it’s just something that happens, and boiling should render the mold harmless. OMG. Then they offered me coupons for free products. OMG again.

    I only buy bullion cubes now if I’m not making my own.