Everyone devours chicken, be it in any dish. But before we go ahead, vegans, please skip this one because this one is definitely not for you. Jokes apart, chicken is one of the most commonly eaten meat all over the world.
Not only is it tasty, but chicken contains some exceptional health advantages such as a rich protein supply, healthier bones, weight loss, etc…
But the problem arises when you consume undercooked chicken.
It is a rather commonly known fact, that eating undercooked chicken is extremely bad for your health. But have you ever wondered why?
What happens when you eat raw chicken?
Take a look at how unhealthy and risky it actually is to consume even slightly undercooked chicken.
This is one of the most commonly seen yet dangerous results of eating undercooked chicken.
Why food poisoning tends to occur is because raw chicken tends to contain bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter. And because of the presence of such lethal bacteria, there are high chances of you contracting them as well.
Signs and symptoms
If the bacteria that you have contracted is campylobacter, then the symptoms might start occurring within two to five days, sometimes even a week. Sounds scary? Well, then you aren’t going to like this at all. If the bacteria is salmonella, then you would be able to see the symptoms in as less time as just six hours.
Okay, now that is truly frightening!
Food poisoning isn’t just an upset stomach and possible fever, it puts you through hell which you wouldn’t want to wish upon even your enemy.
What really happens is that first, you would have a stomachache and cramps which would then lead to you spending quite a bit of time in your washroom because of the diarrhoea. Although you might or might not get a high fever, the above-mentioned symptoms are enough to make you sick.
Keep drinking as much liquid as possible because that is the best way to deal with food poisoning in its initial stages; stay on a bland diet for some time and stay hydrated at all times. That will result in some improvement in your health.
But, if the symptoms get worse, then you would develop a high fever which would eventually lead to dehydration and dizziness. These symptoms indicate a more serious and grave infection which then means its time to contact your doctor because usually common symptoms such as diarrhoea and low fever often get better on their own.
Whereas a more lethal infection might even involve bloody stool, reduced urination, and low blood pressure. So, it is best advised to seek a trusted doctor as soon as possible if your symptoms don’t get better by themselves in some time.
Precautions to take
Prevention is always better than cure. But unfortunately, once you have eaten undercooked chicken, there is only so much that you can do.
What you can do though, is stay extremely careful and take all the necessary measures and precautions to avoid eating raw or undercooked chicken, thereby avoiding severe food poisoning.
What else can you do to steer clear of any health risks that arise due to undercooked chicken?
Here are a few other things that are immensely are helpful:
Do not wash raw chicken alone
It might sound absurd at first, but washing raw chicken will only deteriorate its quality further as washing it provides the bacteria with a chance of spreading all over your hands, kitchen surfaces, cooking equipment, thereby increasing the risk of food poisoning.
So, instead of just cleaning the raw chicken, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap; also wash and clean all your cooking utensils which are going to be a part of the cooking process including chopping boards, pans, serving spoons, etc.
This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs further.
Cook it perfectly
Although taking the above measure is greatly helpful, it might not always work. So, the best and the safest way to ensure that you don’t consume undercooked or raw chicken is to cook it the right way.
- Make sure you season your chicken before cooking it and flatten it out the first thing when you start to cook it.
- Do not let your chicken dry out; milk is a secret ingredient for the best juicy chicken.
- Don’t cook your chicken in a haste or for too long; avoid boiling it because that will absorb its moisture a bit too much, thus rendering it dry.
- Be it baking, grilling, or pan-frying, pay attention to the temperature at which you are cooking the chicken and avoid it from getting overcooked or undercooked.
- If you are pan-frying your chicken, then don’t forget to flip it after cooking it for a minute or so. After that, cover your pan and let it cook on a low simmer for about ten minutes or so.
- Baking or roasting chicken tends to take time, so don’t be hasty and let it cook slowly and steadily.
- Dry poach chicken breasts before putting them in the oven if you are planning on baking them. This will help to keep them tender as well as juicy.
- If you are cooking your chicken with the help of a pressure cooker, then ten minutes at high pressure should easily suffice, so make sure you don’t overcook it.
- Prepare your chicken before cooking it for better results. You can marinate it or brine it as per your choice.
- If at all your chicken turns out to be dry, rubbery, cut it open and check whether or not it properly cooked, and if not, say goodbye to it; as upsetting as it sounds, you have to throw that away.
These are some simple yet highly effective tips for cooking your chicken the right way, to not have undercooked chicken as the result. As long as you keep these in check along with proper kitchen and cooking hygiene, you should be just fine.
Now you can enjoy your chicken without any worries!
Also read: Body Composition: How to Improve It?