Dark Brown Worm in Cooked Chicken Could be Millipede

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“I found this dark brown worm in my cooked chicken”, writes Linda in her submission regarding the creature pictured below. “Can you identify it?” Firstly, we have to point out that unfortunately the picture Linda sent in is very blurry. For that reason, we cannot really see what the creature looks like, other than its general shape and color, which will make it hard for us to provide an accurate identification. We can provide an educated guess, but that’s about it. Secondly, we will say that Linda should not eat the dish she made, because even if no part of the worm was consumed, it could have released toxins or secreted faecal matter which is unsafe to consume.

The shape of the organism reminds us of a caterpillar, but there is something in the photo that has us wondering if it could be something else. Given how blurry the photo is, it is hard to tell if this is the case, but it looks like the creature is lying on its side, exposing its underside: on that underside, it almost looks like a thick collection of bristles, or legs. That had us thinking about millipedes. Millipedes are arthropods, meaning they have segmented exoskeletons that protect their body, and they typically have legs which are joined at the segmented. Millipedes are known for their many legs, like their cousin the centipede. Unlike centipedes, millipedes do not sting, so they are not to be feared. That said, millipedes can secrete a toxin which can irritate the skin, so we recommend avoiding physical contact, and, as we said, not eating the food it was found in.

So, how did this potential millipede end up in a chicken? It is possible that the chicken, while alive, somehow swallowed a millipede whole (which we find unlikely), or that it swallowed millipede eggs or larvae. That said, millipedes are not parasites, so they should not be able to develop inside the body of another organism. With that in mind, this organism could alternatively be a parasite that was feeding off the chicken. However, we can’t confirm this identification, and we wouldn’t be able to do so even if the photo was crystal clear. This is because only a medical professional can identify parasites, given the health threat that they pose. If Linda already consumed some of the chicken, and is worried about her health as a consequence, we recommend consulting a medical parasitologist. What we can recommend is that Linda do one or more of the following:

– Visit our parasite care resources page here: https://www.allaboutworms.com/get-medical-attention-and-tests-for-parasites

– Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.

– Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”.

To conclude, we cannot identify the creature Linda asks about because the photo she sent is simply too blurry. On top of that, given the possibility that it is a parasite, we cannot identify it because we are neither qualified or legally able to. We hope nonetheless that we are able to help to some extent, and we wish Linda the very best.

 

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Dark Brown Worm in Cooked Chicken Could be Millipede
Article Name
Dark Brown Worm in Cooked Chicken Could be Millipede
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"I found this dark brown worm in my cooked chicken", writes Linda in her submission regarding the creature pictured below. "Can you identify it?" Firstly, we have to point out that unfortunately the picture Linda sent in is very blurry. For that reason, we cannot really see what the creature looks like, other than its general shape and color, which will make it hard for us to provide an accurate identification. We can provide an educated guess, but that's about it. Secondly, we will say that Linda should not eat the dish she made, because even if no part of the worm was consumed, it could have released toxins or secreted faecal matter which is unsafe to consume.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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