How to Cook Poultry Safely 101
When dealing with chicken, the cooking of the meat is extremely important, because chicken contains certain harmful bacteria that live within and all over the poultry meat. If the chicken meat is not cooked properly – the bacteria can (-and will) cause food poisoning for whoever is consuming it. Therefore, it is of critical importance to cook any poultry meats properly. Chicken is a well-liked and inexpensive medium to create a fantastic dinner, soup, salad, starter, lunch or snack with. Generally, it is very safe to eat, but if it hasn’t been cooked properly – one ends up eating raw, pink meat in which the bacteria flourish.
The following article provides a few tips on how to cook chicken safely and how to defrost chicken appropriately. These essential food safety tips for working with poultry include:
– Always wash your hands meticulously with warm soapy water before handling any poultry. Additionally, also wash your hands after handling any raw or cooked chicken meat.
– You will also need to use different kitchen utensils for cooked and raw poultry, like chopping boards, knives and plates. This is to prevent cross-contamination – which occurs when, for example, you cut a piece of raw chicken with a knife and then preparing a salad with the same knife without washing it thoroughly. The bacteria will spread from the knife, into the salad – which can cause serious food poisoning. So, try to work as cleanly as possible.
In order to cook poultry safely, it must be thoroughly thawed/defrosted before the cooking starts. If you try to cook chicken that hasn’t thawed completely, it probably won’t completely cook the all the chicken meat. Consequently – food poisoning is still likely to occur.
When preparing a whole bird like a chicken or turkey – always allow plenty of time for it to defrost completely. The bigger the bird, the longer it will take to thaw. Nonetheless, a chicken breast or drumstick could easily be defrosted in a microwave oven. Nowadays, most microwaves actually have a built-in function for defrosting poultry products.
When you are defrosting chicken, a pinkish liquid comes out. This liquid can spread bacteria to practically anything it touches – including food, utensils and work surfaces. Again – good hygiene is extremely important.
With each chicken – the defrosting and cooking time will differ. To check if the chicken has cooked completely through, simply cut open the thickest part of the bird with a clean knife and see if is cooked to the bone.
Also check the colour of the liquid/juices that comes out of the chicken. If the chicken is completely cooked, the juices will be clear. If the cooking juices aren’t clear, or any part of the poultry is pink – then the chicken needs to cook a little longer.
In truth – cooking chicken safely is easy. Simply ensure that the chicken has been defrosted before cooking, all your utensils and hands have been washed thoroughly, and that the chicken has been cooked thoroughly.