What happens if you eat raw chicken?

In this brief guide, we will address the query: “What happens if you eat raw chicken?” Also, we’ll explore how raw chicken should be handled, why chicken is riskier meat to undercook than others, and what to do if eating raw chicken has made you sick

What happens if you eat raw chicken? 

If you eat raw chicken, you will most likely contract food poisoning. This is because chicken flesh is naturally contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium. These bacteria are naturally present in chicken flesh, and the only way to combat their presence and effects is to fully cook chicken. 

Therefore, we urge you to always cook your chicken thoroughly, discard raw chicken that has been sitting out at room temperature, and abstain from eating dishes with chicken that is not fully cooked. 

Symptoms of food poisoning brought about by eating raw chicken include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal aches, dehydration, and headaches (caused by dehydration-induced low blood pressure). 

How should I handle raw chicken?

Raw chicken should always be handled with caution. This implies storing it at inappropriate, cold temperatures up until the point where it’ll be cooked. 

Surfaces over which raw chicken is placed should be thoroughly disinfected once you’ve finished assembling a dish for cooking, and under no circumstance should chicken be submerged or otherwise rinsed in running water.  

This is because a thin film of moisture will remain on the chicken’s surface, and high moisture favors the exponential growth of the bacteria naturally present in the meat. 

The implications of this are that when bacteria reach high growth levels, some of them may secrete toxins that not even exposure to high temperatures will break down, ergo they may trigger symptoms of food poisoning. 

We advise you to package chicken in tight-sealing packages such as heavy-duty freezer bags or spill-proof containers, at adequate temperatures. 

Always wash your hands with running water and soap after handling chicken, and clean up all surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken. 

Why is chicken riskier to eat undercooked? 

Chicken has a higher risk of causing food poisoning because many of the aforementioned bacteria are naturally present in the chickens’ digestive tract, skin, feet, and feathers. 

When the chickens are slaughtered and cut up, chicken meat becomes contaminated with these bacteria, by coming into contact with unclean surfaces, and by being stored in ice and comes into contact with films of water where these bacteria are present.  

For safety reasons, chicken meat is then packaged, then flash-frozen or refrigerated, as this halts the growth of all microbes it has come into contact with. 

When you buy chicken at the butcher shop or meat freezers of your convenience store, it will no doubt be stored at chilling temperatures to continue to keep these microbes at manageable levels. 

From there, once in your fridge or freezer, it’s up to you to handle it fittingly and reduce the likelihood of food poisoning, by following the guidelines we’ve listed above. 

Unlike beef and other meats that can be cooked to a medium, rare, or well-done degree, chicken must ALWAYS be fully cooked, and the meat must forcibly reach an interior temperature of at least 74°C, for at least eight minutes, before it can be deemed safe to cook. 

This may imply that some cooking techniques, such as sous-vide, may be off-limits for preparing chicken. 

Luckily, the optimum cooking temperature is easily achieved by various methods such as baking, flash-boiling, frying, grilling, and others. 

What should I do if I’m sick from eating undercooked chicken? 

If you suspect you’ve contracted food poisoning from eating raw or otherwise undercooked chicken, we advise you to seek out medical assistance. 

You may have an infection that will require a course of prescription antibiotics, which only a doctor can authorize. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of dehydration, we also advise that you replenish fluids by ingesting oral electrolytes. 

Severe symptoms such as high fever, abdominal cramps, persistent diarrhea, and vomiting may require admission into a hospital if they’re left to evolve. 

Moreover, if you or someone you know happens to be within a group that may be considered vulnerable, such as the elderly, pregnant women, children, or are immunosuppressed, you must seek out medical treatment immediately. 

Only a doctor will be able to provide proper indications for treatment of symptoms, and if necessary, of the infection. 

We urge you never to self-medicate and to avoid treating symptoms without addressing their cause. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query: “What happens if you eat raw chicken?” Also, we’ve explored how raw chicken should be handled, why chicken is riskier meat to undercook than others, and what to do if eating raw chicken has made you sick

References 

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2011/05/25/cooking-meat-check-new-recommended-temperatures#:~:text=Poultry%3A%20The%20safe%20cooking%20temperature,the%20same%20at%20165%20%C2%BAF.

http://resources.schoolscience.co.uk/sgm/sgmfoods2.html#:~:text=Raw%20chicken%20becomes%20contaminated%20with,because%20it%20dries%20the%20surfaces

https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/chicken.html#:~:text=Chicken%20can%20be%20a%20nutritious,illness%2C%20also%20called%20food%20poisoning.

https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/symptoms.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-happens-if-you-eat-raw-chicken#:~:text=%E2%80%9CChicken%20is%20considered%20one%20of,is%20no%20safe%20raw%20chicken.%E2%80%9D

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