Foodborne illnesses are some of the most unpleasant and sometimes most dangerous types of illnesses there are. When handling raw, or uncooked poultry, it’s important to remember that foodborne illness can be extremely serious and even fatal. Below are a few simple steps to ensure you don’t end up getting you or your guests extremely sick via cross contamination.
First, always wash your hands prior to handling any food, whether cooked or uncooked. You should wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds using soap and warm water. Next, make certain all the equipment and utensils you will utilize when prepping your poultry are completely clean as well. In the preparation phase, you can never clean too much. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Ensure that both your hands and the area where the poultry will be prepared are clean in order to reduce their chances of coming into contact with already existing bacteria.
Secondly, and this may seem counterintuitive, never, ever wash your poultry prior to prepping it. Not only will this not clean your poultry of any pathogens that are on its surface but you are actually more likely to spread these pathogens onto surrounding countertops from the backsplash that you may not even see. You’re much more likely to acquire a foodborne illness by washing off poultry prior to prepping it than if you did nothing at all prior to prepping it.
Thirdly, make sure you have cutting boards and dishes reserved for both uncooked poultry and cooked poultry. Essentially, by having two sets of utensils (one for handling uncooked poultry and one for handling the cooked poultry) you will exponentially reduce the probability of cross contamination of illnesses caused by salmonella, listeria and campylobacter. These harmful bacteria can, after all, only be destroyed by cooking the meat, never by washing it off.
Fourthly, once you have prepped your uncooked poultry and it’s on the grill, it’s once again time to wash your hands and countertops with warm water and soap. While this may seem like a hassle, it pales in comparison to potential illnesses you could contract by unknowingly ingesting any harmful bacteria due to being lackadaisical.
Fifthly, and this goes almost without saying, make certain that your poultry is cooked to a safe internal temperature. This is where a meat thermometer is so instrumental. You’ll need to check the internal temperature of the poultry in multiple locations to ensure you’re getting an accurate overall reading. Regarding poultry, a minimum internal temperature of 165°F is the safest bet. Anything under this temperature and you’re testing your luck.
If you ever have any questions on how to best handle uncooked meats of any type, call us today at +966.13.845.6798 and we will be more than happy to answer any and all your questions. When handling uncooked meats, safety and seemingly over cleaning of surfaces far outweighs the risks of contracting a potentially fatal foodborne illness. We look forward to hearing from you soon and happy grilling!
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