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Can You Get Food Poisoning from Chicken?



You CAN get food poisoning from chicken.

More Info: The most common form of food poisoning from chicken is Salmonella. Between 2000-2005, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service reported that an average of one in eight broiler chickens that were sampled contaminated with Salmonella.

How Do You Contract Salmonella?

If you eat undercooked chicken, you run the risk of contracting Salmonella. Salmonella can also spread on hands and surfaces if not washed properly. For example, if you prepare raw chicken on a cutting board and then use the cutting board to cut up vegetables for a salad, you run the risk of contaminating the salad ingredients with Salmonella.

What Is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that infects chickens, pigs, and cattle. It is most often found in raw milk, undercooked poultry, and eggs. When ingested, Salmonella causes a bacterial infection called salmonellosis. Every year there are over 42,000 Salmonellosis cases in the United States alone with more than 400 reported deaths. Because many milder cases go unreported, the CDC reports that this number could be more than 29 times higher.

Additional Causes of Food Poisoning from Chicken

Though Salmonella is the most common bacterium associated with chicken, it can be infected by a variety of others including Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli (E. coli).

How to Safeguard against Food Poisoning from Chicken

  • Caution when handling raw meat will help to prevent the spread of the Salmonella Wash hands thoroughly as well as any surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat.
  • Avoid eating raw foods that can potentially harbor the Salmonella bacteria such as undercooked meat, raw eggs, or unpasteurized milk. This would include avoiding foods that contain raw eggs such as Hollandaise sauce or cookie dough.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after coming in contact with reptiles and birds such as lizards and baby chicks. Small children are more susceptible to contracting Salmonella and should avoid contact all together.
  • Immediately refrigerate chicken after purchase to inhibit the growth of bacteria. The refrigerator should be set at 40°F or lower.
  • Chicken should be wrapped tightly for storage and separated from other foods.
  • Cook chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
  • Discard any cooked chicken that has been sitting above 40°F after two hours.



“Food Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Recovery.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2012. .

“CDC – General Information on Salmonella.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2012. ndex.html

“CDC – Prevention – Salmonella.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2012.

“Chicken from Farm to Table.” US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. <>.

“salmonella_enteritidis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. <>.

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