Don’t combine NyQuil and chicken breasts to treat cold and flu symptoms, doctors and other medical professionals advised TikTok users. This feels like it should be a ‘no, duh’ moment, but evidently ‘sleepy chicken’ is the latest fad.

The dangerous social media trend shows some users pouring up to a half a bottle of cold or flu medicine onto chicken breasts as a marinade, before boiling the concoction for thirty minutes.

“When you cook cough medicine like NyQuil, you boil off the water and alcohol in it, leaving the chicken saturated with a super-concentrated amount of drugs in the meat,” Dr. Aaron Hartman, a physician and assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, told the New York Post.

"If you ate one of those cutlets completely cooked, it’d be as if you’re actually consuming a quarter to half a bottle of NyQuil."

Sleepy chicken also poses food safety risks. Some of the videos depict users boiling chicken breasts for only five minutes, significantly increasing the chance of Salmonella and other foodborne diseases.

Instead, doctors recommend following the recommended dosages of cold and flu medicine, in addition to prioritizing rest and lots of liquids.

TikTok remains a valuable resource for chicken marketers

Now, I’ve written a lot about the value of TikTok and other social media platforms for chicken brands. This trend doesn’t change my mind. It won’t be the first stupid trend (remember the #TidePodChallenge?) and it won’t be the last example highlighting the need for consumer education.

“If your marketing departments aren’t paying attention to TikTok, it might be something you at least want them watching,”  Leah Beyer, senior advisor, digital communications, global corporate communications, Elanco Animal Health, said at the 2021 Chicken Marketing Summit. “If they’re not on TikTok, an easy Google search will show you what’s popular on the social media platform.”

So… what can your marketing department do to counter this dangerous trend? If it were me, I might think about creating a video showing the benefits of that other chicken cold remedy, chicken soup. 

Attend the 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit

The 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit will be held at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia on July 25-27. Serving a unique cross section of the chicken supply chain, Chicken Marketing Summit explores issues and trends in food marketing and consumer chicken consumption patterns and purchasing behavior.
 
For more information and to attend, visit: www.wattglobalmedia.com/chickenmarketingsummit/.

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