Eat chicken sashimi at your own risk, experts warn

People are horrified by the prospect

Most people know that raw chicken carries serious health risks, which is why we all wash our hands and any utensils after touching it.

So the internet is aghast at the discovery that chicken sashimi exists.

It’s popular in Japan, where raw chicken - often referred to as chicken tartare or chicken sashimi - is found on many menus.

But it’s not as if the country doesn’t know the risks associated with consuming raw chicken.

In July, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued a warning about eating it and stressed that restaurants must cook chicken to a 75-degree internal temperature before being served.

Many restaurants, however, simply boil or sear chicken for as little as ten seconds, which isn’t enough to kill any potentially harmful bacteria - raw poultry can contain dangerous microbes such as campylobacter and salmonella.

Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert advises people eat chicken sashimi at their own peril.

“Some claim that raw foods are more nutritious than cooked foods because enzymes, along with some nutrients, are destroyed in the cooking process,” Lambert explained to The Independent.

“Yet, some foods contain unsafe bacteria and microorganisms that are only eliminated by cooking. Eating a completely raw diet that includes fish and meat comes with a risk of developing a foodborne illness. Depending on where you’re eating, there may be better or worse food safety standards.

“In the UK, the NHS suggests campylobacter bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning. This bacteria along with salmonella and e.coli are usually found on raw or undercooked meat, especially chicken. Another concern is cross-contamination which can happen if you prepare raw chicken on a chopping board and don't wash the board before preparing food that won't be cooked such as salad.”

And raw chicken should definitely be avoided if you’re very young, old, pregnant or have a weak immune system.

Needless to say, many people are horrified by the prospect of eating raw chicken.

After Food & Wine tweeted asking, “Is chicken sashimi safe?” they were met with a barrage of negativity, mainly in gif form.

So it appears most of us wouldn’t dream of eating raw chicken, even if there weren’t health risks. Consume at your own peril.

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