‘I’m ready for the asteroid’: Searches for NyQuil chicken recipe skyrocket after FDA warning

Social media has brought the world a number of mind-numbing, hair-raising, so-called “challenges” over the years, but when the resurgence of a 4chan joke about cooking raw chicken in NyQuil prompted the FDA to issue a warning, the joke migrated to Twitter’s trending list and searches for the recipe skyrocketed on the youth-dominated TikTok platform.

Though the nauseating concoction, dubbed “sleepy chicken,” has been around at least since January, the FDA told BuzzFeed News it issued its warning after it noticed “social media trends promoting dangerous misuse of medications.”

In its September 15 statement, the FDA urged parents to beware of their children’s exposure to “social media trends.”

“Social media trends and peer pressure can be a dangerous combination to your children and their friends, especially when involving misusing medicines,” the statement reads. “One social media trend relying on peer pressure is online video clips of people misusing nonprescription medications and encouraging viewers to do so too.”

“These video challenges, which often target youths, can harm people — and even cause death,” the FDA cautions.

(Video: YouTube)

The agency detailed the chicken challenge and explained its dangers.

“A recent social media video challenge encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine) or another similar OTC cough and cold medication, presumably to eat,” the FDA writes. “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,” the agency explains. “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.”

Unfortunately, the warning seems to have spectacularly backfired.

The searches for “NyQuil chicken” on TikTok by Sept. 21 were 1,400 times higher than on Sept. 14, when just five people were looking for the recipe, a spokesperson for TikTok informed BuzzFeed. Just days after the FDA declared the challenge to be unsafe, 7,000 searches for the topic were recorded.

So far, thankfully, no one has died and no serious illnesses have been reported.

Over on Twitter, the absurdity of poaching your chicken breast in a pan full of cough medicine hasn’t been lost on Blaze TV’s host of “The News & Why It Matter,” Sara Gonzales.

“That’s a lot to process,” she stated in a posted video. “Don’t cook chicken in NyQuil.”

“Why do we need a warning?” she asked. “I feel like that’s kind of obvious that you shouldn’t do that. Why do we need a warning for that?”

“I feel like this should be common sense that you shouldn’t do that,” she continued incredulously. “And the younger generations just continue surprising me with this stuff.”

“First it’s Tide Pods,” she said, “now it’s cooking chicken in NyQuil.”

It truly is a difficult thing for the host to wrap her brain around.

“You just take the NyQuil if you need it,” she stated. “You don’t need to cook the chicken. Are they eating the chicken? Are they eating it?”

When told “there’s no information on that,” Gonzales heaved a huge sigh.

“I’m ready for the asteroid,” she announced. “Yeah, I’m definitely ready for it.”


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