Lots of media reports have been saying that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people not to dress up their chickens for Halloween.
- Yes, chickens.
I wouldn’t have thought that policing chicken fashion would be high on the CDC’s to-do list, but the concern is obviously related to the perpetual outbreaks of salmonellosis linked to chicks and pet poultry.
Did CDC actually say it?
Does that mean they disagree?
- Probably not. In an email to LiveScience’s Health Editor, a CDC spokesperson clarified that the CDC does “advise people with backyard chickens to handle them carefully to keep their family and their chickens safe and healthy.”
One concern is the risk to chicken owners. A bigger concern is the likelihood that a fashionably dressed chicken out for Halloween would be encountered and handled by many other people, particularly young kids (a high risk group for infection with Salmonella).
If you want to dress up your chicken for Halloween, go for it, I guess. Just wash your hands and keep others away, or at least make sure they also wash their hands after touching the chicken.
Basically, handle bespoke chickens like raw chicken – you don’t need to run screaming from the room, but do take some basic precautions to reduce the risk of contamination (of yourself and other surfaces or objects) and wash hands (or use a hand sanitizer) to get rid of any harmful bacteria that are transferred.