The FDA Just Sent Out A Warning Against A Food Social Media Trend

Social media trends are usually harmless and meant to be fun. Others, however, are more serious and can cause people hoping to participate in the "fun" to get hurt. Past dangerous food trends, like the Tide Pod challenge and the pre-workout fruit challenge, showed parents the likely harm that social media fads can have on young viewers. Another recent food-based trend combines food with a potentially hallucinogenic medicine in a recipe for disaster. 

The "NyQuil Chicken" trend began earlier this year with a TikTok video (available on Reddit) in which the poster cooks chicken breasts in a pan full of NyQuil. The cough medicine turns the chicken blue, and the unnatural hue should already be a sign that the chicken is inedible.

Eating undercooked and unseasoned blue chicken might, and rightly so, not sound appealing to you. Teenagers, though, are more susceptible to dangerous internet trends, as their brains are still developing. According to HealthyChildren, the prefrontal cortex (which handles rational thought) is not fully formed until the mid-20s, making younger people more prone to impulsive actions like partaking in unwise internet trends. The NyQuil Chicken trend has resurfaced in the last few weeks, which prompted the FDA to release an official warning about the challenge.

The dangers of the NyQuil Chicken trend

Cooking poultry (and any food in general) in over-the-counter drugs makes for a potentially lethal combination, and the FDA just sent out a warning against the Nyquil Chicken trend in particular. The agency warned of the dangers of consuming the dish, stating that "boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways." The announcement went on, "Even if you don't eat the chicken, inhaling the medication's vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body," posing a threat to your lungs and causing you to overdose on the medicine.

The FDA gave advice to keep children from participating in challenges like the NyQuil Chicken trend. Suggestions include keeping all medications, even over-the-counter ones, locked away, as well as sitting down with kids and talking to them about the dangers of food trends like this one. The government agency didn't report any injuries associated with the trend, and most Reddit users appear to think it was originally posted in jest.