A majority of food-borne illnesses between 2009 and 2015 were reportedly caused by something that is lunch and dinner staple in most homes – chicken. According to the Center for Disease Control’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS), which collects data on food poisoning outbreaks, between 2009 and 2015, there were 5,760 outbreaks that resulted in more than 100,000 illnesses. An “outbreak” is defined as an event when two or more people have similar illness from eating a common food. Also, during that time period, chicken was responsible for 3,114 outbreak-related illnesses, or 12 percent of all food poisoning cases.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Chicken is one of the most popular food on America’s tables. It is easy to cook, delicious and a healthy protein preferred by many on high-protein or low-carbohydrate diets. Because we consume and handle such a large volume of chicken, there is a greater risk of cross-contamination between raw and undercooked chicken and other foods.
You can, however, protect yourself and family by ensuring that your chicken products are safely handled and cooked well.
The most prevalent cause of food-borne illnesses from chicken is undercooked chicken. Here are a few steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe:
- Put the chicken in a plastic bag before putting it in your shopping cart or refrigerator. This will prevent the raw juices from contaminating the space and other foods.
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds after handling chicken.
- Do not wash raw chicken and use a separate cutting board for poultry.
- Do not place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate or other surface that previously held raw chicken. Refrigerate leftover chicken within two hours.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165° F.
If You Have Been Sickened
If you or a loved one has been sickened by chicken or chicken products due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a food poisoning lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages and losses such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering. An experienced food poisoning lawyer will be able to hold the at-fault parties accountable and help you secure much-needed compensation for your significant losses.