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FDA warns against Nyquil chicken TikTok trend (yes, really)

Another dangerous TikTok trend strikes again

It should come as no surprise in a world where moronic ideas such as eating Tide Pods and drinking bleach to cure Covid are things we have to actually tell people not to do, but it seems we have a new alarming TikTok trend on the loose. “Sleepy Chicken” is the newest fad that’s just as stupid as it is dangerous. In videos surfacing all over social media, people are cooking chicken in NyQuil. Yep. You read that right. You can’t make this stuff up.

Wait what the fuck people are cooking chicken in nyquil I’m gunna be sick

— ToasteonYukitake 🦊 Freshly Baked Fox God (@Toasteon_En) September 16, 2022

Videos are showing people pan-searing chicken breasts using the popular medication as a cooking agent, in lieu of butter or oil. The result is a blue-tinged, toxic-waste-looking revolting mess. If that weren’t disgusting enough, the chicken is then set aside while the used, cooked NyQuil is poured back into the bottle for later use. And the ick doesn’t stop there. More videos are starting to appear with different versions of the “recipe” like NyQuil macaroni and cheese.

Even if people don’t realize how incredibly dangerous this is from a medical standpoint, it’s hard to grasp wanting to try this “dish” from a culinary perspective either. And while most of these videos are “comedic” in nature and not meant to be taken seriously, some are actually being advertised as serious recipes, and people are trying it (because of course they are). The FDA was concerned enough by the challenge that they issued a warning last week, stating, “The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe. Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. 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. It could also hurt your lungs. Put simply: Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it.”

So even if the videos are only being made as “jokes” with no plans to eat the chicken? They’re still dangerous.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to the National Capital Poison Center, “Since many of the TikTok NyQuil chicken videos involve the use of an entire bottle (or more) of NyQuil, it is possible that large amounts of NyQuil can be absorbed into the chicken during the cooking process. Liquid NyQuil contains alcohol that may evaporate during the cooking process, leaving behind high concentrations of the active ingredients. This can lead to potentially life-threatening toxicity once the chicken is consumed.”

TikTok has now blocked the search term “NyQuil Chicken” but good lord, did they really have to? Let’s do better, people.

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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