Why does foul have to be so toxic?

Joined Dec 7, 2009
Sung to the tune of "Why does love have to be so sad" by Eric Clapton.

I would like to hear stories of people that have gotten sick from chicken juice on the counter or utensils. I think this could turn into a great topic.

So I sitting there busting apart a chicken a drop of chicken poison flies across the table onto a half eaten apple I am working on unknown to me and I eat it and die?

I am not going to belittle the dangers of chicken juice but it just makes working with uncooked chicken so scary.

I know you are going to say I should not be eating an apple when cutting chicken in the first place.

How much of this icky juice does it take to hurt an average bear?
Joined Mar 16, 2005
Indeed, why most North American chickens shouldn't be eaten rare. Also, there's always going to be a chance that you won't get sick... doesn't mean you should do it routinely.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
It's in the statistics: chicken is more prone to bacteria. So if it is mass produced, and/or mishandled, the probablity of a bacterial infection gets higher.

Some restaurants serve chicken sashimi. If the chicken is from a trusted source and properly handled you can eat it raw.

Bon appetit:

Disclaimer: I have personally never tried it. :)
Joined Aug 13, 2006
What I know is that chicken is subject to salmonella bacteria. It's spread through the feces, and when the chicken is cut up and cleaned, the intestines have to be taken out. It's easy for the bird to be contaminated from what's left in the intestine. Same for the eggs, which come out the common opening (cloaca I believe - Latin for sewer) and so eggs are covered in feces as well. When they're washed, the germs can get into the egg through tiny cracks.
I don;t think the chicken is contaminated because it has salmonella unless the meat is in contact with the feces, but if you've ever cleaned a chicken of its innards, you know how easy it could be for some to spill.

It's NOT poison. And most of the time nothing will happen. But IF your chicken is infected and you eat it undercooked, you MIGHT get salmonellosis, which is a very, very bad diarrhea. Could be fatal for a child, elderly person, someone with a bad immune system, someone particularly vulnerable in the moment. Can be treated with antibiotics. Not poison, but dangerous. You definitely don't want to get it, and you don't want to be responsible for someone else getting it. But it's not cynanide!
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Toss the apple. (Already long done I am guessing).

Siduri, I agree, birds are notoriously hard to clean out, you have to be so careful not to cut the gut (especially the bowel) when doing so for the risk of contamination. In mass production, not as much time per bird is available as if you were to do it yourself as a one off. I learnt how to about 3 years ago (talking turkey here) - it is mighty tricky, even with a sharp knife and time to play with.

But, washing of boards, benches, utensils and hands that touch so many other things in a kitchen when preparing fowl is essential. No ifs, no buts. Teenage daughter hates it when I ask her to cook a chicken dinner for that fact alone. :) You touch the bird -want to do something else - wash your hands. Paper towel comes in handy rather than an apron or tea towel/dishcloth too. Straight in the bin. Not a very "green" statement but if it will keep you and the other diners well - do it.

Yes, it's not cyanide, but it can put people in hospital or a very uncomfortable state of being if it happens. Have never had it myself, or done it to anyone else, but am very careful, so maybe thats why.
Joined Jul 21, 2006
No one in my immediate family has gotten sick from chicken that I know of but I am careful to wash up everything after prep. My niece (4 years old) was very sick a few months ago after a church dinner. The doctor tested and said she had salmonella poisoning. From what I hear, she was a very sick little girl.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Close but not quite, any feces on the egg comes from the hen pooping in the nest. Not from going down the cloaca. linky: How Exactly do Chickens Lay Eggs?

in brief: Once the egg has fully formed, the chicken's uterus begins to contract in an effort to expel it. The egg moves down a vaginal canal towards an external opening known as a vent. The vent is a common opening for both egg laying and waste elimination, but a chicken cannot perform both functions at the same time. An internal flap known as a cloaca keeps the vaginal canal and the intestinal track separate until either an egg or excrement reach the vent. When a chicken is laying an egg, the cloaca descends and blocks the intestinal track.
Once the egg passes the cloaca, it is carefully expelled through a series of muscular contractions which essentially turn the vaginal canal and cloaca inside out at one point. Eventually the egg is pushed out through the vent and ideally lands intact on the ground. Many chickens let out an audible cluck at this point, but designated egg layers rarely display any other maternal concern. These chickens lay eggs every 24 to 36 hours at the height of their productive years, so individual eggs rarely attract their attention.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
I did an experiment for a college science course a few years ago. Swabbed fresh bought chicken and transferred the swab to a petri dish. The amount of bacteria that grew within 4 hours was scary. In 24 hours the entire surface was a bacterial soup.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
What would have been interesting, Mary, is if you had done the same experiment with other proteins.

It's popular (not to mention politically correct), nowadays, to point to chicken as a disease resort. But I've always wondered, compared to what?
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Thanks gunnar, didn;t know that. But chickens being what they are, and their droppings being what they are, i imagine there is plenty of it around to get on the eggs. Not to mention on their feathers, and therefore everywhere.
Joined Dec 4, 2008
Never had a problem with chicken related food poisoning. We're very careful about sanitation and gloves when working with chicken though. After the chicken is done being cut and diced and put into containers, the cutting board goes straight into the dishwasher, and the entire surface that the chicken was around gets sprayed down with sanitizer and let to soak and then wiped.
Joined Feb 3, 2010
If I remember what my Food Handler Instructor said, beef gets surface-contaminated at the time of slaughter basically because the same knife is used to disembowel as to portion. That's 'surface contaminated'. The meat itself is fine within, so rare or even blue steaks are pretty safe. Ground meat is in danger because the surface is multiplied so many times over.

Fowl, however, has the contamination within the flesh. Normally it's not a big deal. Proper cooking temperatures will take care of any salmonella. It's contamination from the raw bits and juices to foods that will not be cooked that you have to worry about. Our instructor told a story about some idiot pretending to be a caterer who poisoned an entire Mother's Day luncheon at the Royal Botannical Gardens. This person thought it was a good idea to allow the chicken to defrost in shallow pans on shelves above large bowls of pasta salad that was left uncovered. Obviously the pasta salad was not brought up to safe temperature before serving; and the bacteria can double in count every twenty minutes. Several of the elderly and youngsters ended up in the hospital.

I'm thinking someone serving chicken sashimi had better really know what they are doing, and have good insurance. Otherwise, the average bear should just stick with safe food handling practice. Don't let chicken come in contact with any food that will not be cooked. Wash thoroughly; yourself, your surfaces, your equipment. Store raw meats on the bottom shelf of the fridge (beware! drippies will get into the crisper drawers where your veggies lay unsuspecting!) Common sense and paying attention to safe times and temps should keep you happily munching that not-so-foul-fowl.

edit: I think if a food comes in contact, and is washable, it can be washed. A quick dip in a sanitizing soloution?? Can that poor half apple be saved??:suprise:
Joined Mar 21, 2008
I did grocery store hamburger with the same results and a piece of locally grown and butchered beef that was almost sterile.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Interesting. I assume it it the massive surface area of the ground that would have caused this - grinding your own is best, if you have the equipment. Grind immediately before using or freezing. Or freeze, then defrost and grind is probably better. And that equipment must be kept spotless.

The meat that has travelled less and is in a piece has less chance of contamination, as well as less surface area for those friendly l'il bacteria to thrive.

Charron: the thought of chicken sashimi scares me. Unless I raised the chicken and sent it to a peaceful end myself and knew that it had been processed correctly/hygenically - it's a definite no go for me. Not as potentially dangerous as fugue obviously, but still, dunno I would go there.

I'm all for searing filleted & thinly sliced chicken for a stir fry, but it is cooked through.

Anyone tried sashimi chicken?
Joined Nov 1, 2009
You need not be scared of chicken, you just need to take reasonable precautions.

1. Seperate. Always seperate your chicken from other ingredients. Use different cutting boards, and when storing in the fridge, put the chicken on the lowest level, preferably in some sort of catch tray.

2. Wash, wash, wash. Always imeadiately wash anything that has come in contact with the raw chicken with soap and water, including your hands.

3. If you are preparing chicken in a way that requires the use of utensils like tongs, have two pairs. One for the raw chicken, one for the cooked.

4. Cook to the proper temp. FDA recommends 165, but remember even once you remove it from the heat, there will be carry over cooking, so adjust accordingly so you don't end up with Sahara Desert.

Follow these simple guidelines, and you will probably never have a problem.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Yes, fowl can be foul, but tasty. Got some chicken parmesan in the oven at the moment, one of my wife's favorites.

I've heard that chicken is about 98% certain to contain salmonella, while eggs are about 98% free of it. I love runny yolks.

Joined Feb 26, 2007
Speaking of runny yolks - I make this breakfast shake which really puts others off (YAY Success at last :D)

Raw egg
Cup of fresh orange juice
Few drops vanilla essence
Couple of big blobs of greek yoghurt.

Whizz in blender. Enjoy :) I love the stuff.

Umm, but it works better if you have your eyes closed whilst drinking...it does taste good, to me, but it not pretty.
(anyone in the danger zones re raw eggs should not try this - anywhere)

Also like to put an egg yolk in bottom of oriental style soup, let it warm for couple of minutes in the bowl.
(Again, same advice as above)

Chicken stored well and handled correctly is fine, within its use by date. Got to make sure it gets into the fridge as quickly as possible back home too, or if it's a long drive, have a chiller box with ice in it to keep it cold. Store it into fridge/ freezer, then wash out that chiller box. Hot sudsy water will do it, a little diluted bleach wipe down after doesn't hurt. Let the chiller air dry till next time you need it.

A zip-lock bag or such would be needed for the chicken if you are going to put other gear in there too. Cross contamination = very cross stomach :D
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Nothing worse than an overcooked yolk. Except maybe an undercooked white! Fried eggs have got to be over light, or basted constantly. Lots of black pepper to make it more appetizing. Dunking your buttered toast into it. Yum. Simple pleasures.
Never got salmonella. I don;t mean people shouldn't be careful, but I'm not careful to that extent.

By the way, there are many butchers here who also sell cold cuts - they go from the meat counter to the cold cut counter without washing or using gloves. I don't buy cold cuts from them. But I would be interested in the rate of salmonella here.
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