Delicious and nutritious, yes. But dangerous? Potentially.

According to a recent Reader's Digest report, good ol' chicken is the category responsible for the most outbreaks of foodborne illness in the United States. Between 2009 and 2015, chicken alone was responsible for 3,114 outbreak-related illnesses, or 12% of all food poisoning cases.


Perhaps it's because it's so easy and affordable that Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat. And the fact that we eat, and handle, so much chicken only increases the chance of cross-contamination between raw and undercooked chicken and other foods—i.e. opportunities for us to get sick.

Everybody talks about Salmonella, but raw chicken can carry a whole host of scary bacteria like the more common offenders, Campylobacter and Clostridium perfringens. To keep yourself and your family safe, follow the following guidelines, courtesy of the CDC:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm and soap before and after handling chicken.
  • Never, ever wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods and surfaces.
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.

For more information on guidelines for preparing chicken, visit