What happens if undercooked chicken is eaten?

Fact Checked

Many individuals consider chicken as a healthy alternative to red meat due to its reduced fat content. On the other hand, it is important to note that chicken can also cause health issues that you should be aware of. In a study conducted, chicken can be contaminated with either campylobacter or salmonella bacteria that are capable of triggering life-threatening symptoms of food poisoning.

It is vital to observe proper cooking guidelines such as cooking the chicken up to 165 degrees F in order to prevent food poisoning from these types of bacteria. Remember not to use color as the gauge if chicken is cooked to a safe temperature since smoked chicken can manifest as pink-colored or uncooked.

What are the usual signs and symptoms?

The main signs and symptoms of salmonella and campylobacter center on intestinal issues. Nausea, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting can occur within 1-2 days after ingesting salmonella while 2-10 days for campylobacter.

Nausea, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting can occur within 1-2 days after ingesting salmonella while 2-10 days for campylobacter.

The diarrhea is usually blood-streaked in campylobacter or watery in salmonella. Take note that diarrhea persists for up to 4 days in salmonella. In most cases, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics if diarrhea is severe in cases of campylobacter. Cases of salmonella also have fever that can also occur in campylobacter cases.


Bacteremia occurs once bacteria enters the bloodstream and spreads to other parts of the body. It is important to note that salmonella can infect bone, brain or spinal cord, sac surrounding the heart and the lungs.

Remember that bacteremia most often occurs among individuals who have compromised or weakened immune systems such as those undergoing chemotherapy, using immunosuppressant drugs, those with injured or absent spleen or those who are currently using medications that reduces the stomach acid.

Typhoid fever

Salmonella typhi is a type of salmonella bacterium that is only carried by humans that causes typhoid fever. Chickens do not carry salmonella but food handlers who are infected can contaminate the food during preparation and the infection can also spread via the food if chicken is undercooked.

Typhoid fever causes millions of infections globally, but most cases occur among those who have a recent history of travelling abroad. The symptoms of typhoid fever include the following:

  • High fever up to 104 degrees F
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Flat, rose-colored rash in some cases

If any of these symptoms are present, the individual might have typhoid fever. A doctor should be consulted right away so that treatment can be started.

Guillain-Barre syndrome

Campylobacter infection can progress to Guillain-Barre syndrome which involves temporary paralysis that starts at the feet and moves upward. Take note that this condition starts with weakness and tingling sensation in the lower extremities and can trigger almost full paralysis which would surely require a breathing device. Even though many individuals were able to recover from this condition, some weakness can linger.

Was this post helpful?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top

  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional