Pink sauce explainer: Just because it’s viral on TikTok doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat


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If you’ve been on TikTok or Twitter this week, you may have seen people talking about something called “Pink Sauce.” No it’s not the one pasta with cream and tomatoes, but instead a condiment made by a TikTok user named Chef.Pii. Hot pink in Pepto Bismol style, Chef.Pii sells it on tacos, wings, egg rolls, salads and more. The bottle has an adorable design that looks like the pink Victoria’s Secret logo and she sends it everywhere. Problem? Look like that’s it.

Sauce consumers report all sorts of problems, from misleading nutrition information, exploded packaging, spoiled smell and different shades of the sauce itself. The chef herself posted videos of her cooking it without gloves.

Not like a child, but we wouldn’t eat it.

On Wednesday’s TikTok, Chef.Pii responded to some of the concerns raised about her sauce by stating that the sauce is still under lab testing, that it follows “FDA standards” and that the misleading nutritional label will no longer be shipped.

One brave twitter user tried to figure out what the real ingredients are in a thread that starts here.

Once the negative reviews started coming in, people were amazed at the scam nature of it all. It looks pretty gross, no one knew what the real ingredients were, and the confident charismatic chef won’t stop posting. It’s a veritable internet drama storm, but pink sauce is likely to make you really sick.

In a statement to the Daily Dot, Pii said: “I think when you’re great, you can’t go wrong, but, I mean, yes. My team is working fast to fix the issues,” Pius said. The monitor attempted to contact Pii herself, but at the time of publication, several calls had been made, and before the call ended, only loud bangs could be heard in the background.

The pink sauce has also raised concerns among food safety experts. “As a product in general, it seems pretty risky,” said Benjamin Chapman, a professor of food safety at North Carolina State University. He said that in terms of safety, there are two important factors, namely the PH and the water activity of the sauce.

“The pathogens that make us sick don’t like acidic environments and like lots of water,” said Chapman, who ordered the rose sauce himself to test these elements in the product. “Having dragon fruit, sunflower oil, and garlic that looks raw but isn’t actually acidified has a lot of potential for some pretty bad bacteria to grow.”

Chapman also raised concerns about the product’s labeling, which includes a “not FDA approved” disclaimer. Products that go on sale are still subject to local state laws, he said. “The manufacturer does not quite understand the terminology. This statement does not set you free.

Pink sauce isn’t the only food product created by a TikTok user that has gone viral for the wrong reasons. On June 13, TikTok user Deva Tillis posted a video complaining about a “spicy bowl” containing crayfish and eggs she ordered from a small business on the platform. It took nine days for the bowl to arrive at Tillis’s address, and by the time it arrived, the fish was rotten.

In another TikTok video, Tillis explained that the product was falsely advertised as being supplied with dry ice to preserve seafood and said she only received a partial refund. Other food products from the creators of TikTok, such as sunflower seed pickle, are also gaining popularity on social media.

Small businesses selling unregulated food products online are not new, Chapman said. “This is not a TikTok phenomenon. But what’s different is that TikTok is so good with little consumption and makes things go viral,” he said. “Just because it’s on TikTok doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

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