What is TikTok’s ‘chicken anxiety’ food phobia?

'Chicken anxiety' has become the latest food trend on the internet.

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Users of the platform are now talking about ‘chicken anxiety‘: a collective fear around the fact that they are not cooking the meat properly; which has raised multiple questions about how to do it correctly, moved by the fear of suffering from food poisoning.

The videos archived in the virtual folder #chickenanxiety project this new paradigm through viral confessions that have accumulated more than 70.5 million views.

It is a trend that was born on August 14 after the publication of @anysiaaa’s video, in which she appeared cooking chicken, entitled: ‘POV: you have anxiety about chicken and big pieces’, which already has more than 11 million views.

Out of that train of thought came other TikTok users who left comments on the video expressing that they had had similar experiences. ‘I swear my anxiety about chicken eventually led me to veganism,’ commented one user.

After all, that whole new generation of concerned cooks has a valid reason to fear undercooked poultry, as it contains dangerous bacteria that can cause illness if reserved underneath. Raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter, Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If someone eats undercooked meat, they can develop food poisoning and experience symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea or even death.

How to cook chicken properly?

To confirm that the chicken is properly cooked, CDC recommends checking its internal temperature with a thermometer to make sure it is 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, as well as checking if the juices running from the chicken are clear, the color of the exterior or cutting the chicken to see if it is white in the center, and finishing the analysis by checking that all surfaces are thoroughly cooked beyond the core.