What could happen if I eat raw chicken?


Quick Answer

Eating raw chicken can cause food sickness from one of a variety of bacteria that can contaminate the meat. However, not all raw chicken carries the bacteria that makes people ill. Those who eat raw chicken accidentally are not guaranteed to get sick.

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Full Answer

Up to 97 percent of raw chicken has been found to carry gut bacteria, as stated by Food Safety News. A large portion of this bacteria is not considered harmful to the human body. If a person accidentally eats raw chicken in undercooked or contaminated food, he or she has good odds of not getting sick. Still, a large portion of raw chicken does have harmful bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter.

The bacteria can survive in chicken that is not cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also get onto cooked meat through cross contamination by touching surfaces that held raw chicken.

Food poisoning symptoms usually appear within 24 to 48 hours, according to Medic8. Relatively mild symptoms, including nausea, cramping, vomiting and diarrhea can be treated at home. Patients need plenty of rest and rehydration. If the symptoms last longer than a few days or patients develop dehydration, seizures, blood in vomit or diarrhea, they should be admitted to the hospital.

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