which comes first?
January 26, 2008 9:17 PM   Subscribe

I just accidentally ate uncooked chicken. Sigh. What happens now?

I made chicken strips in my oven -- typically these are pre-cooked and you are just heating them up, but I tried a new brand today. Put 'em in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes, took them out, and ate about 5 bites before I realized that the last bite had a weird consistency.

Looking more closely it was definitely undercooked chicken. It was a touch above lukewarm by feel, but had that kind-of-glassy look that uncooked chicken has... it was cooked enough so that my fork slices right through it.

Anything I can do now except ride it out? How long will it take before I know whether I got lucky or not? I am 36 and otherwise healthy so I assume this is not potentially life-threatening in anyway?

(i don't know if i am more mad about eating the chicken or having to waste my askme question!)
posted by robotdog to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't worry until you start having symptoms...if you start having diarrhea (particularly bloody diarrhea) or significant vomiting for more than one or two episodes, don't hesitate to head to the doctor. If not, relax. The common concerns about undercooked chicken are Salmonella, Campylobacter, etc., and they don't tend to be subtle. At any rate, there's nothing that you can do at this point to stop it.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:25 PM on January 26, 2008

In the worst case scenario, you might get salmonella poisoning. This would give you really bad vomiting, diarrhea, and headache, with I think a few other symptoms, for a day or two. Unless you're elderly or have a compromised immune system, I'm pretty sure you can get through it without treatment in most cases. If you get salmonella poisoning, I'm pretty sure you'll see symptoms within six hours or so. Of course, IANAD.

Of course, since it was undercooked, but not raw, it's quite possible you cooked it enough to kill any salmonella bacteria that might've lived in it.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:29 PM on January 26, 2008

It is indeed possible to get food poisoning. I did the exact same thing once. Nothing happened. Hopefully that will be your case as well.
posted by The Deej at 9:37 PM on January 26, 2008

Salmonella survivor here, confirming the above posts that, if you got it, you'll know - fear not. So will anyone else in ear shot, I'm sorry to say. I was a bit uneducated about these types of things when I had it (I was a wee lad of 17 at the time), so I went about 3 days before I went to a hospital, at which point I was pretty good and dehydrated. If you do get it, drink lots and lots of water, all the time. You won't really be able to leave your house - you won't want to stray more than a quick sprint from the toilet. As I recall, they didn't really do anything for me in the hospital other than confirm that it was, in fact, salmonella, and re-hydrate me. I was there for about a week.

I'm laying money that you'll be alright. They eat chicken sashimi in Japan. Yours was cooked a bit.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:47 PM on January 26, 2008

You're probably fine. Reports I've seen on incubation time vary, but if you do get salmonella or something similar, you'll know by tomorrow afternoon. Symptoms include fever, headache, and lots of diarrhea and vomiting. Not much you can do, just make sure to rehydrate as much as possible. You could drink a Gatorade or two now as a preemptive strike, but I don't think it's necessary.
posted by emd3737 at 9:49 PM on January 26, 2008

Since the outsides of the chicken were cooked, with a rare inside, the chances of getting sick are lower. As far as I know, most of the various diseases on food is from the slaughter house environment, and not the chicken itself. So by cooking it some, you've killed off the nasty outside, and the meat is most likely clean. Not guaranteed, but safer.
posted by cschneid at 10:18 PM on January 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm siding with cschneid's take on this. The bad stuff is mostly on the outside and you've nailed that with the 400F for 20 minutes. If it were me I'd rest easy. Let us know how it goes.
posted by crapmatic at 11:00 PM on January 26, 2008

While I'm no doctor, I once ate half of a breaded chicken breast before discovering it was entirely raw in the center. After some initial panic and a lot of googling I decided if I had any trouble that night, I'd see a doctor. It's a lot less dangerous, from what I read, than people make it out to be. I was fine.

(You know, but YMMV. I don't recommend it.)
posted by routergirl at 11:04 PM on January 26, 2008

(Tired. Posted without proofreading. Not being a doctor was more to clarify my "It's a lot less dangerous" comment, not to explain why I ate half of a raw chicken breast.)
posted by routergirl at 11:09 PM on January 26, 2008

I was in a similar soft of situation; long story short don't worry yourself sick *non figurative*. Try and get your mind off the situation.
posted by oxford blue at 5:05 AM on January 27, 2008

I ate uncooked chicken sushi and sashimi at an raw-chicken restaurant in Tokyo. And survived.
posted by hexatron at 5:57 AM on January 27, 2008

Hopefully you know by now that all is well. Do keep in mind that undercooked hamburger is way more likely to be a problem than steak or chicken. Ground beef has no "outside" or "inside." Any contaminants picked up in the processing are throughout the meat. As stated above, chicken, like steak, would have the contaminants on the outside.

Although I have to say that my experiences in biting into raw chicken were so unpleasant that thinking about it makes me queasy.
posted by The Deej at 6:05 AM on January 27, 2008

I've got a friend who treats raw chicken like it was plutonium, so I ate a bit to shut him up. Nothing happened.
posted by greytape at 6:26 AM on January 27, 2008

I ate raw chicken once. I got a bit freaked out at first, but it was delicious so I kept on eatin'. I survived.
posted by pantsonfire at 7:53 AM on January 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, everyone was right. 12+ hours later and I feel fine. Mmmmmmm, raw chicken.
posted by robotdog at 10:34 AM on January 27, 2008

Now, Mr. Bond, you die.
posted by Aquaman at 12:23 PM on January 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

Chicken sashimi is fucking delicious.
posted by robofunk at 3:55 PM on January 27, 2008

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