Why Can’t Chicken Be Eaten Rare?


Rare chicken on a grill

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It’s only natural for you to wonder why chicken can’t be eaten rare. This is a question that must be answered in order to clear up any confusion and avoid any harmful consequences. Simply put, eating rare chicken is not good for the human body. The severe repercussions can even land you in a hospital.

When eaten rare, chicken has several pathogens attached to it. These are called Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella, Enterococcus, and so on. All of these will be unaffected if the chicken is not cooked properly. This will eventually lead to fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Situations can even get worse when one experiences bloody stools and dehydration. There are no proven health benefits to eating rare chicken. Therefore, in this article, I will address the risks of eating rare chicken and remedies that can be used to combat the side effects. So, let’s get right into it!

4 Reasons Why Chicken Can Not Be Eaten Rare

The consumption of raw or rare chicken can cause severe diseases. Salmonella, reactive arthritis, diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal problems, and so on are the prominent negative consequences of eating chicken rare.

These diseases are just the byproduct of harmful bacteria that live on rare (raw) or undercooked chicken. Some damaging pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter, enterococcus, E. coli, and klebsiella are evident in undercooked chicken. This is why it is imperative to always cook chicken fully instead of eating it rare.

1. Salmonella

One of the adverse effects of eating chicken rare is related to having a disease called salmonella. It is a highly dangerous disease that causes discomfort in the joints, the nervous system, and urination.

The salmonella bacteria in rare or raw chicken is responsible for causing salmonella. This is a bacterium that lives in the intestinal tract’s lining. It is usually spread with chicken feces.

Additionally, when chickens are butchered, there is a possibility of chicken meat being exposed to contaminated feces.

The symptoms of salmonella can be very noticeable. Fever, nausea, headache, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and so on are some of the defining features of salmonella through the consumption of rare or raw chicken.

Extreme complications of this disease can even cause typhoid, enteric fever, and food poisoning. This is why it is better to not eat chicken rare ever.

2. Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning

When chicken is eaten rare, the bacterial growth in raw chicken gets into one’s system. It can then cause gastroenteritis. This is a type of stomach flu or food poisoning that causes inflammation in the intestine’s lining.

Abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, infection, diarrhea, and other gastroenteritis-related issues are caused by eating chicken rare.

Moreover, food poisoning caused by an undercooked chicken can be as severe as being unable to stand due to nausea.

These are not the only intestinal-related problems caused by eating chicken rare. Instead, one is also exposed to irritable bowel syndrome and extreme dehydration.

3. Clostridium Perfringens Poisoning

People with a low immune system are at risk of getting clostridium perfringens poisoning.

When chickens are eaten rare, a bacteria named clostridium perfringens finds its way from the chicken to one’s stomach. This can then cause severe levels of abdominal cramps.

Moreover, although it is not as intense as salmonella or food poisoning, it still is a matter of concern. This is because this bacterial poisoning from rare chicken also causes severe dehydration and diarrhea.

And long-term dehydration and diarrhea due to eating chicken rare can lead to kidney failure or hurtful intestinal diseases.

Pregnant women, children, and older people are at risk of this type of bacterial poisoning. This is why keeping oneself under supervision or hydrating with fluids is a must in the case of eating chicken rare.

4. Campylobacter Infection

Campylobacter, a bacteria found in rare or raw poultry, is responsible for a number of adverse effects. Reactive arthritis is a rare condition caused by eating chicken.

In addition, inflammation in joints, the urinary system, and reproductive organs is a very notable symptom of reactive arthritis. This is why it is better not to expose oneself to undercooked poultry consumption.

Another campylobacter infection is called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Its symptoms can be very dire as this can even cause temporary paralysis. Moreover, you also need to look for some mild symptoms of campylobacter infection. It includes nausea, fever, dehydration, bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, and so on.

Why Can You Have Steak Rare But Not Chicken?

It is okay for the steak to be eaten rare but not for the chicken. The reason is rather simple. Chicken pathogens live on both the surface and inside the chicken meat. However, in the case of steak, the pathogens live only on the surface.

The surface pathogens of the steak can not penetrate into the steak itself while cooking. This is why it is safe to eat steak rare. In the case of eating chicken rare, the surface pathogens may get eradicated while cooking, but the pathogens inside the chicken stay intact.

The consumption of these potential bacteria, parasites, and pathogens will cause health risks. These will also lead to foodborne illnesses. This is why it is important to cook chicken at about 165 degrees Fahrenheit to overcome any kind of potential illnesses.

What To Do After Ingesting Rare Chicken?

If one happens to ingest chicken rare, it is a must to look for the defining symptoms. Observing symptoms will help in coping with any alarming condition. If one is hydrated, rests well, and consults a doctor if the situation deteriorates, it is possible to combat any dire situation caused by eating chicken rare.

The first thing one needs to do in a situation like this is to notice the symptoms of illness. So, it is imperative to look for signs of nausea, dehydration, vomiting, fever, stomach aches, and so on. If these symptoms make themselves known, it is necessary to take measurable actions. To fight these foodborne illnesses caused by raw chicken, one needs to first stay hydrated.

It is important to stay hydrated as vomiting and diarrhea will reduce the fluid level in the body.

In the case of food poisoning, it is imperative to avoid oily foods. It is a bland diet of liquid foods that seems to help the most. And it is advisable to take rest and feed only on fluids or electrolytes until seeking medical help.

It is diarrhea that can make people more vulnerable in these situations. This is why diluted fruit juice, electrolytes, oral hydration solution, water, and juice are incomparable in treating post-digestion conditions. One can also expose oneself to over-the-counter medication to find relief from nausea or diarrhea. For the most part, any kind of infection caused by eating chicken rare will go away on its own.

However, if it is not the case, one has to look for serious symptoms. The serious symptoms include having bloody stools, severe dehydration, dizziness, low blood pressure, a high fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and non-stop diarrhea. In the case of these severe symptoms, it is necessary to contact a doctor to seek medical aid as soon as possible.

How To Know Your Chicken Is Cooked Properly?

There are literally countless ways to know when your chicken is cooked. First of all, you can use a meat thermometer and pierce through the thickest part of the chicken. Don’t go all the way through. Keep it in the middle. If the reading says around 160 degrees. Then your chicken is cooked. 

Another method is to scrap the meat of one of your pieces. If the meat comes out effortlessly, then your chicken is all done. You should also see no bleeding on the bone of a well-cooked chicken.

Chef Rooney

I like to cook. It makes me happy, and I know it does the same for others. If you ever want to learn how to make a great dish, just ask!

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