Many Chick-fil-A fans will tell you that their favorite part of their take-out orders isn’t the famous chicken sandwich or the perfectly breaded tenders, but the super-tasty sauces that you find in the bottom of their take-out bags, like little buried treasures. Some folks are such huge fans of these conveniently packaged sauces that according to fans on Reddit, they’ll go so far as to try and pilfer them from the restaurant, or ask for as many extras as the workers will spare to go along with their orders. One customer favorite is Chick-fil-A’s Polynesian sauce, which some super-fans admit to stockpiling in their drawers and cupboards at home to use on other meals (via the New York Post).

It seems like a great idea: they’re convenient, single-use, and take a long time to expire, but there’s a dark secret lurking in those drawers and kitchen cabinets. For as delicious as the Polynesian sauce from Chick-fil-A might be, it tends to eat through its packaging, leaving a sticky, smelly mess behind.   

Why it's happening

One Reddit user explained that he keeps a plastic bag full of fast food sauces in his room, and the Polynesian sauce from Chick-fil-A has exploded more than once, leaking its contents everywhere. To that end, he posed the question, “I’m wondering if it’s something acidic in the sauce that eats through the packaging. It’ll start to happen after a month or two.” In reply, many, many people shared that they’d also experienced this strange exploding-sauce phenomenon. One person who appears to have worked at Chick-Fil-A responded. “I’ve even had times when working and stocking the poly sauce I’ve found it randomly exploded in boxes.” 

And lest anyone be left to wonder what a sauce that eats away at plastic and foil packaging might be doing to their own insides, another user replied with a potential scientific cause: “My best guess is the propylene glycol alginate (a preservative/emulsifier/thickening agent) in the sauce reacts with the foil (aluminum) in the peel top over time and erodes it and the adhesive.” They added that if you refrigerate the sauce, it would likely show down this reaction. Additionally, “Polynesian sauce is the only one that contains that particular ingredient which is why the others don’t leak/explode.” 

Other respondents affirmed that refrigeration seems to be the solution, saying, “This hasn’t happened to us since I started keeping them in the fridge.” So next time you decide to pilfer some Polynesian sauce, toss it in the fridge!

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