What happens If You Eat Undercooked Chicken?

All kinds of food take their own time to cook. For instance, brown rice takes more time as compared to white rice, broccoli takes less time than cauliflower. Since, these all come under vegetarian produce, consuming undercooked vegetables causes no harm. But have you ever thought about what happens if you consume undercooked animal flesh? Like, Raw/undercooked chicken. 

Ways in which eating undercooked chicken will affect your body

Some people are experts in cooking nonvegetarian food, they can know if the chicken has cooked well or not just by looking at it. But there are millennials who are still learning to cook and sometimes end up consuming undercooked chicken. If you are someone who has experienced this phase, by reading the following you can know, how did the undercooked chicken affect your body: 

The intensity of the effect depends on the quality of the chicken. Whether it was organically or growth was stimulated by injections. Consuming undercooked yet organic chicken is better than the chemically grown one. Though it does carry some light side-effects.

  • The bacteria salmonella lives in the gut of the chicken which can cause intestinal infection in humans. Along with this, it can also cause illnesses such as food poisoning, fever due to typhoid, enteric fever, and gastroenteritis. 
  • Sometimes, the chicken meat is infected with the bacteria campylobacter, when the meat comes in contact with animal faeces. These harmful bacteria get killed by the heat produced during the cooking process. when the chicken remains undercooked, the bacteria somehow survives and can cause illness.

Diseases that are caused when undercooked chicken is consumed frequently:

  • Bacteremia: 

People with a weak immune system have greater chances to develop this disease. Bacteremia is caused when the bacteria spread throughout the bloodstream and also to other parts of the body. 

  • Typhoid fever: 

This is said to be caused by salmonella bacteria, which can be carried by humans only. The symptoms include having a high fever up-to 104℉ or 40℃, rash, weakness, stomach ache, and frequent headaches. 

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome: 

Also known as GBS, is an infection which is caused by campylobacter. It occurs when the antibodies, that were built for protecting our bodies from these bacteria, attack our nerve cells. 

This disease causes temporary paralysis that begins from the feet and eventually spreads to the top. The paralysis stays for several weeks. Even after recovery, some weaknesses might remain. 

  • Reactive arthritis:

 This is also caused by campylobacter, which gives rise to inflammation of joints, urinary system, eyes, and reproductive system. 

Symptoms of eating undercooked chicken

When illness is caused due to salmonella and campylobacter, the following symptoms can be seen:

Undercooked Chicken

The diarrhoea is very liquid when caused by salmonella, but has traces of blood when caused by campylobacter. The symptoms are not shown right after consuming undercooked chicken meat, but they eventually show up in 2 to 5 days. 

Treatment

Foodborne diseases such as diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, headaches, etc have the ability to resolve on their own. Some home remedies that help in speedy recovery are:

  • Drink a good amount of water, 8 cups at least if you are an adult. Especially during diarrhoea, as your body tends to excrete a lot of fluids.
  • Drinking sugar-salt water solution helps in reducing inflammation. This keeps sodium levels in the body intact. The salt to sugar ratio should be equal in the solution.
  • Avoid consuming spicy and heavy food. Replace these with food that can be easily digested, such as soups, smoothies, etc. Include more vegetables and fruits and lessen the number of carbohydrates.

If the problem persists, you are free to take antibiotics after consulting a doctor.

Consuming undercooked food frequently causes diseases such as typhoid fever and bacteremia. These diseases can be treated by taking antibiotics. Though in severe cases, hospitalization might take place. In the case of antibiotics, the patient recovers within 6 to 10 days. 

There is no known cure for GBS. The doctors give prescriptions and suggest treatments according to the patient’s situation.

How to bake the perfect chicken?

In a microwave oven /OTG: preheat your oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Grease the pan on which you are going to cook your chicken. Marinate the chicken with spices, salt, and little oil. 

Mix well and spread it on the greased pan. After the oven has been preheated, put the pan on the top rack inside the oven. Here comes the trick for perfect cooking of chicken. Cook it at 180°C for 25 minutes followed by 7 minutes at 200℃. 

                  Tips: 

  • Marinate the chicken with spices beforehand and put them in a freezer for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours. This process helps in tendering the meat as well as in soaking the juices well.
  • When cooking in a microwave/OTG, avoid stacking chicken over a chicken. Always ensure one layer of chicken on a pan.

How to know if your chicken has cooked properly?

These tips can be used while baking a chicken as well as while cooking it on a stove.

  • Feel the pieces: 

The amount of chicken is not the same always. We all know that more chicken means more cooking time. Whether you are cooking in a microwave or on a stove, you can always check it’s tenderness by poking or cutting a thick piece. If the knife slides through the piece easily, by easily we mean that it slides through with mild pressure from the spatula, then it is done. 

  • Contraction: 

When the chicken is cooking or already cooked, they tend to shrink in size by 40% from their original size. 

  • Juices: 

A sign of a well-cooked grilled or baked chicken is its juiciness. When you poke or press a cooked chicken, it tends to leave its juices, which are usually yellow or clear depending on the seasonings. 

The bottom line

Consuming overcooked chicken is way better than consuming undercooked one. At least in the case of the former, you will be losing some nutrition while in the case of the latter, you will be losing your health. 

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