Raw Chicken Sashimi Is a Real Thing, but Should You Eat It?

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Sushi served at an auction in Japan. The country has popularized chicken sashimi, which has made its way to the U.S. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

There's no shortage of questionable food trends, and the latest could give you diarrhea, according to experts. Videos of chicken sashimi have resurfaced on Facebook, bringing the odd dish, which first broke over the summer, back into the spotlight. As Food & Wine reported in June, the specialty is mainly found in Japan, but it has come stateside. Few places offer it on their menus, but the truly intrigued can find it at the Japanese restaurant Ippuku in Berkeley, California, or even try it at home (but please don't).

Related: Vegetarian diets can reduce heart disease risk by almost 50 percent compared to eating meat

The magazine explains that chicken sashimi is not entirely raw: It is very lightly cooked, either by boiling or searing the meat for a maximum of 10 seconds. But can that do anything to stave off food-borne illnesses? Not exactly, according to food microbiologist Michael Doyle, who told the magazine it's simply not enough time to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria.

The reason you should avoid raw chicken comes down to two strains of bacteria found in the uncooked meat: campylobacterand salmonella, both of which can cause food poisoning.

"There's a pretty good chance that one or both of these pathogens are on/in the chicken meat itself," food safety expert Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University told Live Science.

He explained that eating raw chicken is much different from raw fish because germs that get you sick are different. In fish, the main concern are parasites, which can be eliminated through freezing. However, salmonella bacteria can't be killed off in this way.

Salmonella infections usually bring bouts of diarrhea, fever and cramps anywhere from 12 hours to three days after someone becomes infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Usually, the infection doesn't last long, about four to seven days, and treatment is often unnecessary. However, there are rare instances where the bacteria can spread to the bloodstream, turning deadly without antibiotics.

Typically, there are no long-term consequences, though the CDC notes some may experience reactive arthritis after Salmonella poisoning, which can lead to actual arthritis. People with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, children and senior citizens are strongly cautioned against consuming undercooked poultry as they are more susceptible to having more severe consequences.

So while you likely won't die, it's probably better to just cook your chicken. The CDC recommends using a meat thermometer to check that your dish has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. And don't forget to refrigerate and freeze leftovers within a couple of hours, clean all cutting boards and always wash your hands post chicken handling.