Well I sympathize with you on all counts.
For one, it took me WEEKS to start a medication that has a very tiny side-effect profile! I went to college and majored in political science which required a lot of statistics. So I'd look at the clinical data on the drug and KNOW in my practical mind that nothing was going to happen, but I couldn't get it through the thick skull of my anxiety mind. Basically there are three ways you can approach it. You can do like I did and wait around forever. You can not take it at all (and that's not really an option, I don't think). Or you can just suck it up and start them. Now I've been where you are and know how hard it is so I'm not going to tell you to rush right to the bottle and pop the pills. I will, however, say that I wish I had done just that. That was three weeks of my life that I kinda wish I had back!
Secondly, I understand your fear of food poisoning, too. In line with what another poster said, I'll mention a few things for you to think about
1. There are lots of food poisoning cases reported every year. That's true. But every one of us eats several times a day, so when you think about
it the odds of any given person acquiring food poisoning is statistically EXTREMELY remote. From CDC: "about
one out of every 1,000 people get food poisoning from Salmonella. Of these, two-thirds are under age 20, with the majority under age nine. Most cases occur in the warm months between July and October."
2. You could eat raw chicken but for it to make you sick it would have to be infected with something. It is not likely that yours was infected with salmonella or anything else. Even if it was, there's a very good chance your body would fight it off. Especially no more than you ate.
3. If you did get food poisoning, it actually may not be as bad as you think. Most people hear food poisoning and think of throwing up for hours on end. That happens, but very often it's a few hours of diarrhea and that's it. While that may not be a very fun few hours, I've sure experienced worse things in my life and I'm sure you have, too.
In short, we can always trust statistics to put things in perspective. The odds of you getting legitimately ill from a single bite of undercooked chicken are very, very low. And the odds of you getting a really nasty case are even lower.
Lucky me, I've had food poisoning three times in my life. Once it was sort of bad, but really what made it so bad was where I was at the time and what I was doing. The other two weren't all that bad.
I think the media really hypes the whole food poisoning thing up. I mean it's good in a way...restaurants and stuff are more likely to handle food better when there's scrutiny. But for anxiety sufferers it's, well, not so good.
I'm sure you're going to be fine. Take care.