Whew! CDC Says You Can Dress Up Your Chicken For Halloween After All

But wash your hands!
Tsekhmister via Getty Images

It was all a big misunderstanding!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s actually okay to dress up your pet chicken for Halloween. So there’s nothing to squawk about.

ABC News apparently caused the flap while reporting that some 92 people in 29 states had been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming into contact with raw chicken products. The news outlet also quoted health experts who said that it was “easier for a person to come into contact with harmful bacteria that live on poultry, including salmonella” when dressing a chicken, whether in a Halloween costume or a sweater.

The CDC issued a statement to clarify that “despite news reports to the contrary,” officials have “not warned people against dressing [live] chickens in Halloween costumes.”

Some other strict warnings remain, however. Pet owners should never “kiss your birds or snuggle them, and then touch your face or mouth,” the CDC warned. Also, children under five shouldn’t touch chickens, the birds should never be brought into the house, no one should eat or drink around the chickens and people must always wash their hands after touching a chicken.

There’s more information here.

No word from the CDC on which costumes might work best, but chicken fanciers had some ideas. (Note: The tweets about NOT dressing up your bird are no longer accurate!):

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