How to Avoid Harmful Bacteria in Store-bought Chicken

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. – Taking action on safe foods and products.

Questions and comments are welcome!

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