What Happens If I Accidentally Eat Raw Chicken

You can eat a medium-rare steak at a restaurant, ceviche on the sand, beef carpaccio or tartar, as well as an abundance of sushi, sashimi, and poke bowls. However, raw chicken? That pass is usually challenging. You may know this intuitively, but what happens next is a little hazy. It’s reasonable to wonder what will happen if you consume raw chicken.

Due to bacteria commonly present in chicken that are typically eliminated during grilling, frying, or baking, eating raw or undercooked chicken can result in food poisoning, stomach discomfort, nausea, and/or diarrhea (so not fun!). Therefore, you should always place a premium on fully cooked chicken. Each and every time.

The easiest method to prevent this gastrointestinal nightmare is to always ensure that your chicken is indeed properly cooked. This entails using a thermometer to confirm that your chicken has reached the 165°F safe cooking temperature as advised by the FDA.

However, you don’t always prepare the meals. What happens if you visit a friend’s house and bite into a piece of chicken only to find that the fleshy, pink, and undercooked (or even raw!) interior begs you not to eat it? Do you spit it out over the table right away? (Excuse me, everyone.) To begin mouthwashing with water? Hurry to the restroom?

See what gastroenterologists have to say about what to do if you eat raw chicken before you start freaking out. You can also consult test kitchen experts for advice on how to avoid eating a raw breast or wing in the first place.

What happens if you eat raw chicken, really?

Is eating raw chicken safe? In a word, no. You could become ill from food poisoning. Unless you’re Emily Charlton from The Devil Wears Prada, those two dreaded words should give you the chills.

According to Jennifer L. Bonheur, MD, a gastroenterologist in New York City, “Raw chicken—as well as its juices—is frequently contaminated with campylobacter bacteria, and occasionally with salmonella and clostridium perfringens.” However, Samantha Nazareth, MD, a gastroenterologist in New York and member of the Women’s Health Advisory Board, notes that undercooked beef and contaminated raw fruits and vegetables are typically more common sources of Escherichia coli infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that all of these foodborne pathogens can cause diarrhea, often along with nausea, vomiting, fever, and cramps. And perhaps just one or two bites will do.

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How soon after consuming raw chicken do you become ill?

According to the CDC, salmonella can start wreaking havoc as soon as six hours after exposure, whereas symptoms of campylobacter typically don’t appear for two to five days after exposure. Similar to that, the duration of these infections ranges from 24 hours (clostridium perfringens) to a week. Most frequently, E. coli takes three to four days to incubate.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do once you’ve eaten raw chicken. Rinsing your mouth with water or chugging water won’t work like a magic trick. and making yourself throw up? Dr. Bonheur asserts, “That won’t help either.”

How long after eating raw chicken will you get sick?

Then you will immediately stop eating at that place for a long period of time—yes, even if that means avoiding your mother’s cooking for several weeks.

You kind of, sort of just have to deal with the cacophony of symptoms, to answer your question. There isn’t really a panacea or miracle treatment. So, if you experience the typical food poisoning symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, or cramps, start eating bland foods and stay hydrated with water and electrolyte drinks until your symptoms go away, advises Dr. Bonheur.

Most cases of food poisoning last up to a week. According to Dr. Nazareth, you should definitely see a doctor if your symptoms worsen or don’t get better within a week, or if you experience bloody diarrhea, a high fever (above 102 degrees), are pregnant, or are immunocompromised. Starting to experience symptoms of dehydration (such as low blood pressure, dry mouth, and decreased urination)? It would be wise to call the doctor at that time as well. Some of these deteriorating symptoms, such as a high fever and bloody stools, could indicate a more virulent infection.

However, that isn’t typically the case. According to gastroenterologist Gina Sam, MD, MPH, most infections will go away on their own. “A patient only occasionally needs to be treated with antibiotics.”

What should you do if you get sick from raw chicken?

It doesn’t matter if it’s raw or just seems a little undercooked. If you’re unsure of the poultry’s level of readiness, it’s best to put it back on the stove (grill, oven, etc.) to cook it for an extended period of time.

While it may seem simpler to simply cut around any rawer areas and eat what appears to be well-done rather than asking a chef or your best friend to cook your food for longer, doing so is actually quite risky.

Dr. Bonheur advises that “the entire piece of meat should be well cooked, as there may be contamination from adjacent undercooked segments of the meat that still puts you at risk of exposure to bacteria and foodborne illness.”

What happens if you eat slightly undercooked chicken?

Pay close attention to the chicken’s juices and the colour of the meat. The colour of cooked chicken will be white, whereas raw or undercooked chicken will be pinkish or even bloody. But don’t be reluctant to perform further inspection.

Dr. Sam and Dr. Bonheur advise making a tiny cut into the thickest part of the poultry, and if any blood or pink colour remains afterward, the chicken is probably still raw. The same principle also holds true for other liquids: if the juice still has a pink tint, return it to the pan.

However, purchasing a high-quality cooking thermometer is your best bet for safety. Put that bad boy into the meat’s thickest part. The chicken should be thoroughly cooked and any bacteria that might have been present should have been sufficiently killed by the heat if the thermometer registers 165°F. So you can eat your chicken dinner in peace and security.

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