Undercooked chicken can be severely detrimental for your health.
Raw chicken might be contaminated with a bacteria called Salmonella, which can be killed if chicken is cooked to the proper minimum internal temperature.
When chicken is not fully cooked, your risk of gastrointestinal distress and other problems increases.
If you suspect you have eaten undercooked chicken and are suffering from adverse effects, contact your health care provider immediately.
Signs and Symptoms
Salmonella bacteria from raw and undercooked chicken leads to a condition called salmonellosis. If infected, you’ll probably experience symptoms within six to 72 hours after consuming the contaminated food, explains the Better Health Channel. Symptoms are typically related to your gastrointestinal tract.
You might suffer from severe diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea and possibly vomiting. Headaches, chills, fatigue and fever are also often associated with salmonellosis. If there is blood in your stool or vomit, inform your doctor immediately.
He may request a stool sample to determine if your symptoms are related to salmonellosis or another condition.
Symptoms should resolve on their own within four to seven days, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
During this time period, your body will lose a large amount of fluids from diarrhoea and vomiting, depending on the severity of your condition, so staying well-hydrated is essential. If you cannot hold down solid foods or liquids, chew on ice chips or suck on ice pops to get some fluid into your system. Consume clear liquid foods, such as gelatin, lemon-lime soda, broth and sports drinks, as long as you can tolerate them.
If your symptoms require hospitalisation, you may have to be hooked up to intravenous fluid to replenish lost fluids.
Pregnant women, elderly adults and small children may be especially sensitive to harmful bacteria from undercooked chicken. Additionally, if you are already sick or undergoing treatment for a chronic condition, your immune system might already be weakened, making salmonellosis especially dangerous. In these situations, consuming undercooked or raw chicken can be fatal, because your body cannot always recover in some circumstances.
Several precautions help prevent salmonellosis caused by undercooked chicken. Cross-contamination is a major factor in spreading Salmonella bacteria.
When storing raw chicken, always place it at the bottom of your refrigerator so juices from it don’t drip onto other foods.
When chicken is raw or undercooked, any surfaces it touches will become contaminated with Salmonella.
For example, if you prepare chicken at home and then use the same cutting board to prep vegetables without thoroughly sanitising it first, the vegetables will also become contaminated with the bacteria.
Someone who consumes the cut veggies can get sick, even if they don’t eat undercooked chicken. Always check your cooked chicken with a thermometer to ensure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73,9 degrees Celsius). Test the chicken in several areas and put the thermometer in as deeply as possible, without hitting the bone, if applicable.
When you go out to eat, you cannot control how the chicken is handled, but rest assured, dining establishments are supposed to follow the strict guidelines enforced by the health department.