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Should you wash raw chicken to prevent Guillain-Barré syndrome?

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Guillain Barré chicken, syndrome, washing chicken, health,- Guillain Barré pollo, síndrome, lavar pollo, salud, MundoNOW
Chicken and Guillain-Barré syndrome (PHOTO: Shutterstock)
  • What is the link between chicken and Guillain-Barré syndrome?
  • Experts say not to wash raw chicken.
  • It’s important to cook poultry thoroughly.

There is a belief that washing food before cooking is an important safety measure… but this is not always the case.

There are conflicting opinions about how to treat raw chicken.

Here we have everything you need to know about the relationship between chicken and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Before you continue reading, we invite you to listen to the new Tu Mundo Hoy podcast by clicking HERE.


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What is Gullain-Barré syndrome?

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Chicken and Guillain-Barré syndrome / PHOTO: Shutterstock

Guillain-Barré syndrome occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

This leads to inflammation of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.

As a result, the affected nerves may stop functioning properly, causing muscle weakness.

This can cause a loss of sensation and, in severe cases, paralysis.

Symptoms may appear suddenly

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Symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome can progress quickly.

One of them is weakness or tingling sensations in the legs that can spread to the arms and upper body.

Some experience difficulty moving their eyes, speaking, chewing or swallowing, and abnormal sensations such as pain, burning or itching.

Finally, it can cause serious breathing problems.

What causes it?

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Although you may not believe it, the exact cause of Guillain-Barré Syndrome is not always clear, but in many cases it is due to a viral or bacterial infection.

For example, it can be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, Zika virus and Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.

Its treatment generally involves hospitalization to manage symptoms, in addition to administering intravenous immunoglobulins.

Most people eventually recover, but it can take weeks or even several months.

Chicken and Gullain-Barré syndrome

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According to Tec Science, both in Mexico and the U.S. and even in Europe, experts say not to wash raw chicken.

This is because it does not remove the bacteria and because it could wind up spreading it to other parts of your kitchen.

Just last March, in  Tlaxcala, Mexico, three deaths were reported due to Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Authorities in this region believe that these deaths were related to the consumption of chicken contaminated with campylobacter.

Chicken meat is often contaminated with campylobacter

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Alejandro Macías, an expert in infectious diseases, says that we have to assume that most chicken meat contains campylobacter.

Therefore, if we wash the chicken, it can be transferred to the sink, utensils, appliances and even other foods. This is known as cross-contamination.

For this reason, it is recommended that you prepare foods that aren’t cooked, like salad and vegetables, before handling raw chicken.

According to Tec Science, what eliminates pathogens from chicken are high temperatures during cooking.

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