BE CAREFUL OF CHICKEN

Be careful of Chicken


The latest USDA research notes similar Salmonella levels. Now consider that we each consume about 70 pounds of chicken a year - more than our intake of beef, pork, or turkey - and it's a wonder broilers don't come with health warnings!

At the supermarket, far better to buy only birds labelled "free range". Commercial chicken farming gives bugs the chance to spread easily, as do high-volume processing operations. Free-range chickens are given more room to roost and are usually slaughtered in much smaller numbers, presenting a much safer option. For example, one free-range brand sold in the Pacific Northwest of USA, came up completely negative for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Consumers Union's tests.

At home, to help prevent food-borne illness, don't rinse your raw bird in the sink. Instead put it directly into a baking dish or casserole; the high temperatures in the oven will sort out any bacteria (if you have an cooking thermometer, cook breasts and other cuts until the temperature hits 180F [about 90C]). This shortcut reduces the odds of contaminating worktop counters and other foods. If you used a cutting board, clean it (and the knife) with a mild, diluted bleach solution.

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