Can you get botulism from a chicken broth?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you get botulism from a chicken broth” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get botulism from consuming chicken broth. Moreover, we are going to discuss if you can get food poisoning from chicken broth and how to spot bad chicken broth.

Can you get botulism from a chicken broth?

When it comes to the canned chicken broth, it has various preservatives added to it. Moreover, it has gone through a rigorous process of cooking and the can itself is sterilized. So the chance of you getting botulism from a chicken broth is extremely rare. But we won’t negate the possibility wholly even if it is very low.

So let’s discuss that even if the chances of incidence of botulism from the chicken broth is too low, still what are the agents that can cause food poisoning or other deleterious health effects when you consume a spoiled or stale chicken broth.

The main agent behind botulism is Campylobacter Botulinum, so if somehow this bacteria is present in your canned chicken broth then the consumption of this chicken broth can put you at a high risk of getting botulism that is a fatal condition, and requires immediate medical action. Botulism is characterized by dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing, weakness, and trouble speaking.

You can read more about botulism here.

Can you get food poisoning from chicken broth?

The most common case that you can see regarding the consumption of spoiled chicken broth is the incidence of food poisoning. As the chicken broth is made from chicken that is a highly perishable food commodity and that can have E.coli or Salmonella present in it which can cause food poisoning which is characterized by abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.


Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of stale chicken broth or bacteria-laden chicken broth often causes diarrhea.

Abdominal pain

Food poisoning after consuming a bad chicken broth is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.


If you have consumed a chicken broth that has microbial growth in it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.


Consuming a chicken broth that has gone stale will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

Which people are more prone to food poisoning?

Some vulnerable populations are more prone to Salmonella food poisoning if they consume a spoiled chicken broth. They are

  1. Elderly people especially those that are above the age of 65
  2. Children that are aged under 5 as their immune system is weak as compared to the adults
  3. Pregnant women
  4. Immunocompromised people have a very weak immune system and are already suffering from diseases like HIV or the people that have recently got a transplant or have gone through surgery.

Therefore such people should take more care while consuming food and should always check if the chicken broth they are going to consume is a good one or a spoiled one. Moreover, if you want to consume refrigerated broth, it is better to first heat it till it reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit, before consuming it.

How can you check whether your chicken broth is good or has gone bad?

You can tell whether or not your chicken broth has gone bad by considering its appearance and smell.

If you spot a mold in your broth then you should immediately discard such chicken broth as it has gone bad.

Moreover, if you smell something rotten, putrid, or sour while taking a sniff test of your chicken broth then it is an indication of bad chicken broth.

In the case of canned chicken broth, if you spot some dent or leakage in the can or if the unopened can have a bulging lid or bulging body of the can, it is better to discard it.

How to store chicken broth?

It is a good practice to store the chicken broth on the shelf of the fridge rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge that can mess up the quality of the chicken broth. Moreover, as soon as you open a can of broth, it is recommended to transfer the leftovers in the air-tight container or plastic zipper bag immediately and store it in the refrigerator.

In the case of the homemade chicken broth, you should never store the hot chicken broth directly in the air-tight container as the moisture can build up inside the container and can provide a suitable environment for bacteria to grow, which can resultantly spoil your chicken broth. You should let the chicken broth cool thoroughly before storing it in an air-tight container.

Moreover, once you have reheated your refrigerated or frozen chicken broth, you should never refrigerate it. The reason behind this is that when you heat the previously refrigerated or frozen chicken broth, its temperature rises from 40 degrees Fahrenheit and that is the suitable temperature for bacteria to grow, thereby bacteria can grow at a faster pace at it and you should never refrigerate such chicken broth again.

Moreover, always remember to reheat the stored chicken broth to at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you get botulism from a chicken broth” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get botulism from consuming a chicken broth. Moreover, we discussed if you can get food poisoning from chicken broth and how to spot bad chicken broth.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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