Although rare, it usually occurs after a viral or bacterial infection, which may trigger the immune system to attack nerve roots and peripheral nerves, causing partial paralysis and sometimes even death. Around 1,200 people a year suffer from it.
The rules for staying safe'
- Don't wash raw chicken. There is no reason to clean chicken or wash off visible blood - it doesn't make it any more hygienic or remove bugs.
- Use separate chopping boards for chicken and other ingredients, such as salad and vegetables.
- Disinfect surfaces, dishcloths, sponges and utensils that raw chicken has come into contact with to avoid spreading the bacteria around the kitchen.
- When possible, clean them in the dishwasher, as the combination of heat, water and detergent kills the bugs. Clean work surfaces or other items with hot water and an anti-microbial disinfectant, such as a bleach spray.
- Make sure the chicken is cooked properly - either by checking with a temperature probe that it's 70c or by making sure the meat isn't pink - and that the juices running out of it are clear
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