Never wash raw chicken under a running tap

chicken being washed under a running tap

Washing raw chicken before cooking it can increase your risk of food poisoning from campylobacter. Splashing water from washing chicken under a tap can spread the bacteria on to hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment.

Water droplets can travel more than 50 cm in every direction and only a few campylobacter cells are needed to cause food poisoning.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, affecting 280,000 people a year, including more than 100 deaths.

Around four in five cases of campylobacter infection come from poultry and it is estimated that 65% of the chicken sold in the UK carries the bacteria.

Campylobacter poisoning can cause abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
Symptoms usually develop two to five days after eating the contaminated food, but most people recover without treatment within to two to five days.

In some cases, campylobacter infection can cause irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis, miscarriage and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

It can be fatal in young children, the elderly, and people who have a weakened immune system, such as those with HIV and cancer.

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