Tips on how to buy, handle, cook and eat chicken, eggs and other poultry safely to rule out the danger of getting infected by the bird flu virus
The Bird Flu or Avian Influenza, is scaring people away from poultry products, especially chicken, with mixed feelings amid meat eaters around the world questioning one another if it is safe to eat chicken or eggs during the bird flu crisis.
However, the chances of getting infected with bird flu by consuming infected chicken or other poultry meat can be minimized with just a simple precaution, something that most of us already do in our kitchens – cook properly!
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health organisations, you can eat chicken and other poultry products amid bird flu as long as they are handled and cooked thoroughly.
How thorough cooking can kill the bird flu virus in infected chicken or other poultry?
The bird flu virus is very sensitive to heat and cannot survive in food cooked thoroughly at even normal temperatures for longer periods in most household kitchens. Having said that, most people cook chicken for longer periods and hence cut down the risk of getting infected by consumption.
Cook chicken thoroughly and if possible at high temperature
Wash and cook chicken very thoroughly, and at a high temperature, if possible. The objective is to let the heat reaches to 70°C in all parts of the chicken or poultry being cooked. Cook chicken for at least 30 minutes or more.
Don’t eat under-cooked chicken or eggs during the bird flu
As a rule of thumb, eat chicken cooked at home and avoid eating at restaurants and street side meat stalls as there is a high possibility of the meat being under-cooked or thoroughly cooked.
Don’t eat raw chicken or other poultry meat, half-boiled and half-fried eggs at all.
Tips for buying, handling and cooking raw chicken, eggs and other poultry during bird flu
- Buy chicken or other meat from neat and tidy chicken shops
- Look for signs of dullness or sickness before buying the chicken
- If you notice dead poultry at the chicken shop, move to another shop
- If possible, wear gloves and masks when at a chicken shop
- Avoid touching raw chicken (or other meat) with bare hands
- Keep safe distance from the cages at chicken shops
- Avoid getting in contact with chicken droppings
- Don’t touch blood stains left on plastic bags carrying raw chicken
- Once home, immediately wash the raw chicken and your hands thoroughly
- Cook chicken and other poultry meat thoroughly on the stove and not a microwave
- Cook the chicken or other meat for at least 30 minutes at 70 Degree Celsius
In a nutshell, avoid visiting chicken shops frequently, buy chicken only from neat and tidy chicken shops, look out for signs of dullness and sickness in the poultry birds, don’t handle raw chicken or other poultry meat with bare hands before it is washed properly at home, dispose all waste properly in a bin, and cook chicken, eggs and other poultry meat thoroughly at 70 Degree Celsius and for more than 30 minutes, or longer.
Remember one thing – eating thoroughly cooked chicken, eggs and other poultry can cut down the risk of getting infected by bird flu but it can still infect you if you handle raw meat improperly.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by lp@admin