There is bacteria called campylobacter found in raw chicken and if you wash it before you cook it there is a risk of getting food poisoned from it.
Most of the people have heard of salmonella, listeria and Escherichia coli and there is a small number of people that have heard of campylobacter. Which is not good since most of the food poisoning comes right from campylobacter.
When you wash it under a tap the water that splashes can spread the bacteria onto the work surfaces, clothing, cooking equipment and hands. It only takes a few cells of these bacteria to cause food poisoning. Food poisoning from campylobacter affects many people a year and it may be fatal too. The usual source of food poisoning from the bacteria is poultry.
This type of food poisoning can cause fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In certain cases it may cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, miscarriage, irritable bowel syndrome and reactive arthritis. The young children, people who have a weakened immune system, like those with cancer and HIV, and the elderly are potential victims to the bacteria since it can be fatal for them. It usually takes two to five days for the symptoms from consuming contaminated food to develop and most of the people recover without being treated in two to five days.
You will remove the bacteria by thorough cooking – washing or cleaning it doesn’t do that. If you freeze the raw chicken it can reduce the level of campylobacter but it can be only eliminated by thoroughly cooking it.
How to prevent poisoning from campylobacter
- Keep the raw chicken on cool and cover it
In order dripping juices from raw chicken on other foods in the fridge cover it and store it at the bottom of it.
- Don’t wash raw chicken
Washing raw chicken will only spread germs by splashing while cooking it will kill any present bacteria.
- Wash used utensils
all of the surfaces, chopping boards and utensils used to prepare the raw chicken have to be thoroughly washed. After handling raw chicken wash your hands with soap and water too.
- Thoroughly cook the chicken
Check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked by cutting into the thickest part of the meat, make sure that it is steaming hot without pink meat and that the juices are clear.
Treating poisoning of campylobacter
It can be self-treated and in order to do that you should drink plenty of water in order to keep you hydrated, take oral rehydration salts, consume easily digested food, and rest.
If you have any of the symptoms or signs listed below, seek medical advice:
- vomiting that doesn’t stop after more than two days
- unable to keep liquids down for more than a day
- diarrhea for more than three days
- your vomit have blood in it
- your stools have blood in it
- changes in your mental state, such as confusion
- double vision
- slurred speech
- signs of severe dehydration, such as sunken eyes, a dry mouth and an inability to pass urine, or if you pass small amounts of dark, strong-smelling urine
If you are pregnant and get poisoned by food you have to contact your doctor since it may require some additional precautions.