What Are The Chances Of Getting Sick From Eating Raw Chicken?

So, what if you ate chicken raw, what are the chances of getting sick?

There is a high chance that you may fall sick if you eat raw chicken. This is because raw chicken has been associated with a number of health conditions. It is best to ensure your chicken is cooked properly before eating it.

In this article, I will talk about the risk of eating raw chicken, how to ensure your chicken is properly cooked, what to do if you eat raw chicken, and when to see the doctor.

Overview of raw chicken

According to Healthline, many chickens sold in the United States have one or two bacteria present in them. These include salmonella and campylobacter; however, there are cases where both are present.

On normal occasions, when you cook the chicken properly, these bacteria are killed and are harmless. However, when it is eaten raw or undercooked, you risk getting exposed to food poisonings, and the symptoms include; vomiting, nausea, cramps, etc.

SEE: Can You Eat Raw Bacon And Not Get Sick?

What happens when you eat raw chicken?

If you ate raw or undercooked chicken, your chances of falling sick are pretty high. The US Department of Agriculture recommends that all chicken be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, if you ate raw or undercooked chicken, here are a few health challenges you may experience.

1. Salmonella infection

Salmonella or salmonellosis is a digestive tract infection found in all animals, especially chickens. While most of them are inactive or harmless, some are capable of causing infection in the intestine tract of humans.

According to the Center for Disease Control, salmonella infects over 1.3 million people per annum. With over 250,000 being hospitalized and just over 200 cases causing death.

Some common symptoms of this infection include;

  • Fever (typhoid and enteric)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea (bloody in some cases)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Gastroenteritis.

The Center for Disease Control further states that the symptoms of salmonella may occur between 12 hours to 3 days after exposure. However, symptoms are supposed to last no more than six days.

SEE: Does All Chicken Have Salmonella?

2. Campylobacter infection

Campylobacter, also known as campylobacteriosis, is a bacteria infection that animals contact from drinking contaminated water. When humans come in contact with this infection, (mostly through eating) it can have adverse effects.

Many people believe that the main infection gotten from raw chicken is salmonella. However, the Center for Disease Control stated that campylobacter infects up to 1.5 million people yearly.

The symptoms of campylobacter include;

  • Diarrhea (which may sometimes be bloody)
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramp
  • GBS (Gillian barre syndrome).

According to the Center for Disease Control, the symptoms of campylobacter start after 2 – 3 days of intake. While the symptoms persist for no more than six days.

SEE: Is Undercooked Chicken Breast Safe?

3. Clostridium perfringens

Clostridium perfringens usually occur when food is left cold or at room temperature. However, this bacteria is also present in raw or undercooked chicken.

The symptoms of this bacteria infection include stomach cramps and diarrhea. In rare cases, vomiting or fever is also experienced. This infection symptom occurs as quickly as 6 hours and ends in 24 hours.

SEE: Is Raw Lamb Safe To Eat?

What do you do if you eat raw or undercooked chicken?

While there is no known cure for this illness, the best thing to do is to change your diet. Simply avoid the food that is placed in this predicament.

Also, you should try as much as possible to stay hydrated, especially if you are experiencing diarrhea. Take liquid such as water, sports drinks, clear broth, diluted fruit juice, and oral rehydration solutions.

Do not try to force or induce vomiting. This is because it may cause harm to your gut, and it doesn’t stop the illness. Also, you should note that certain categories of people might need or require antibiotic treatment. These people include;

  • Older adults (especially those over the age of 65 years)
  • Pregnant women
  • Nursing mother
  • Infants or children under the age of 5 years
  • Those with a weakened immune system.

Anyone who falls into these categories may require mild over-the-counter treatment to relieve the symptoms. Such as loperamide, which can be used to ease diarrhea, and bismuth subsalicylate to ease nausea.

SEE: Can Humans Eat Raw Meat?

When should you see the doctor?

You should seek the doctor’s counsel when symptoms persist for more than a week or when you are unable to retain liquid. Also, if symptoms look more severe, you should see your doctor.

For example, if you notice bloody stools, a high fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and little or no urination.

Also, if you are vomiting so frequently that it is not possible to replace fluids. Or if you are experiencing dizziness and diarrhea lasting more than three days.

SEE: MyCFAVisit Survey – Get A Free Sandwich From Chick-fil-A

How can you tell if a chicken is raw or undercooked?

Knowing if a chicken is properly cooked is the first step in avoiding food-borne illnesses. Below are some ways to detect raw or undercooked chicken.

1. Color

Raw or undercooked chicken has a pinkish color which changes to white when it is cooked thoroughly. If you notice that your chicken is pink, then there is a slight chance it is undercooked.

2. Using the meat read thermometer

how to use a food thermometer

Another way to know if a chicken is properly cooked is by using a food thermometer. This can be done by inserting the thermometer into a thick section of the chicken.

The US Department of Agriculture states that all chicken be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, all bacteria in the chicken are killed.

SEE: Are Food Thermometers Accurate?

3. Checking the juices

You can check the color of the juice running out of the chicken. If the juice is white and clear, then it is properly cooked. However, if the color of the juice is reddish, then it is probably still undercooked.

SEE: What Are Burger King Chicken Nuggets Made Of?


How long until raw chicken goes bad in the refrigerator?

Raw chicken can last up to 2 days in the refrigerator before going bad. It can also stay up to a year in the freezer before going bad.

How soon after eating raw chicken will symptoms occur?

The symptoms may occur anywhere between 12 hours to 2 days after ingestion. However, symptoms should disappear after seven days.

What should you do if you accidentally eat raw chicken?

If you accidentally eat raw chicken, the best thing to do is to drink lots of water. This helps hasten the digestion process, furthermore, you should also avoid any food that contains raw chicken.

Can you get sick from eating just one bite of raw chicken?

Yes, you can. Eating even a small bite of raw or undercooked chicken can cause food poisoning. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

Can chicken color still be white and undercooked?

Yes, it can. Some chicken can be white on the outside and still remain undercooked inside. The best way to confirm the doneness level of a chicken is by using the meat-read thermometer.

SEE: How To Identify Undercooked Chicken Thigh

Conclusion: Ate raw chicken, what are the chances of getting sick?

Eating raw or undercooked chicken can cause a number of sicknesses. This could range from vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fever.

While there is no known treatment, you can take some antibiotics to ease the symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist for over one week, then you should see the doctor for proper counseling.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

You should also see this interesting article – is fried chicken bad for gout?

Thanks for reading.