Cook Poultry without Danger of Salmonella Poisoning

Print

chicken_salmonella_cAccording to the latest estimates, salmonella (the bacterium which causes food poisoning if not eliminated by careful cooking) can be found in 80% of frozen broiler chickens sold to the public. The birds may have eaten food contaminated with salmonella; they could have been infected in the crowded conditions of the broiler house; or the infection might have taken place at a later stage: in a poultry processing plant, where many thousands of birds are slaughtered and eviscerated every day.

Whether there's an equally high incidence of salmonella among free-range chickens, we simply don't know. Salmonella is by no means the only cause of food poisoning, but it does account for a significant proportion.

But as long as we follow a few simple rules before, during and after cooking, we've nothing to worry about:

  1. Keep raw and cooked foods separate.
  2. If a bird is frozen, read the instructions carefully before you take off the wrapping. The bird must be thawed thoroughly and evenly, preferably in a fridge. The chickens only ready for cooking when there are no ice crystals left in the cavity and you can move the leg joints freely.
  3. Birds infected with salmonella can contaminate anything with which they come into contact. After use, knives and chopping boards should be washed or scrubbed, if necessary using a sanitiser, and make sure drips from the thawed-out chicken don't land on other food.
  4. The chicken must be cooked right through. The Institute of Food Research says that it's best to do it without the stuffing in place, for the most even heat penetration. When you test it with a skewer, a cooked bird will ooze clear juice, if the liquid is bloody, it needs longer.
  5. If keeping cooked chicken, cool as quickly as possible and store in the fridge, well away from anything uncooked.

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

FDRPolls

Your best fast-food restaurant is