The Consumer Reports publication of findings that nearly 2/3rd of commercial uncooked chicken carry harmful bacteria prompts us to ask: What can we do about our chicken? For those of us who are not about to give up eating it, here are some practices you should follow at home:
#1 Tip: You MUST cook your chicken to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to check. Even if the meat is no longer pink, it may not be cooked enough to kill Salmonella or campylobacter bacteria. Also observe these practices:
You want to avoid the juices of uncooked chicken. Avoid them on your counter-top, in your refrigerator, in your life. So:
- At the supermarket, choose the one well-wrapped, at the bottom of the case where its the coolest
- Make it the last thing you pickup and put in your basket before heading to the checkout line, so it keeps coldest
- Put it in its own plastic baggie at the supermarket, then keep it in the plastic bag in the fridge.
- If it’ll be cooked within a couple of days, store it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Otherwise, freeze it.
- Thaw frozen chicken in the fridge, inside its packaging, inside the bag, dont thaw it on the counter.
- Dont return cooked meat to the plate that held it raw.
- Refrigerate or freeze within 2 hours of cooking.
These steps should keep you safe. Remember, the safest chickens are organic, “air-chilled” variety. More details in this article.
More information, how to take action:
– Bell & Evans brand “air-chilled” chickens
– S.T.O.P. – Safe Tables Our Priority is a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens. Good information.
– www.BuySafeEatWell.org – Taking action on safe foods and products.
Questions and comments are welcome!