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Raw chicken: Advice for those who fear exposure

Thu, Mar 9

Advice has been given for anyone who fears they have eaten or tasted raw or undercooked chicken after yesterday's Kaitaia College food hygiene incident.

Students at Northland's Kaitaia College were fed raw chicken tenders provided by Bells Produce, leading to some throwing up in class and one seeking advice at hospital.

They may have been exposed to to bacterial organisms such as campylobacter or salmonella, but symptoms can usually be treated at home.

According to Te Whatu Ora/ Health New Zealand, bacterial infections associated with raw chicken can usually be managed with good fluid intake, rest and self-care, and without any antibiotics.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis or food poisoning include diarrhoea (can be bloody), vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, headache, tiredness.

People with symptoms should stay at home and rest, drink plenty of water, and wait 48 hours after the last symptom has gone before returning to school.

Good hand and personal hygiene is a must.

If symptoms persist, people should speak with their GP or medical healthcare health facility, or phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice.

Advice and reassurance

Dr Joel Prini of Kaitaia Hospital said one student visited yesterday with "non specific symptoms" and staff were able to provide advice and reassurance.

Raw chicken tenders served at Kaitaia College.

"The involvement more was about trying to plan for what could happen if there were more unwell students that we needed to help."

He stressed most people would suffer no or mild symptoms, and those that did needed to hydrate, take simple painkillers if sore, and staying away from others.

Hospital or GP help was available if people got really sick.

Symptoms would go after seven to 10 days generally.

"It's a good reminder for us as a community about what we can do if these things do happen, how we can look after each other, how we can look after our school," he added.

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