How to Avoid Salmonella When Preparing Chicken
Author: Roger Wakefield
Recently, the dangers of Salmonella, in particular from consuming chicken, have been discussed so often on TV that you would expect incidences of infection to have reduced to almost zero. Sadly this is not the case. For people who eat chicken, the perils of getting sick or worse are still present, and thousands of people are infected every year.
Better understanding of Salmonella will help chicken consumers eliminate the dangers and avoid illness or worse.
What is Salmonella?
Put simply, it is a form of food poisoning which is caused by a bacterium that lives in humans, poultry and other animals used for meat.
If you are infected with salmonella, they may suffer from feverishness, looseness of the bowels, being physically sick (ie regurgitating) and intense stomach cramp. This may begin within 12 hours after consuming the infected poultry and may last along as 3 days. Most sufferers recover after a few days rest, but in some cases, it can take a nasty turn, requiring hospital care and in a few sad cases, it can even prove to be fatal.
The advice given to those who are cooking with chicken is :
* Clean your hands AND the chicken before before cooking.
Salmonella can be present on your hands and also on the hands of anybody else how has touched the chicken. Cleaning thoroughly reduces the risks.
* Keep uncooked chicken away from anything on the kitchen counter.
When preparing a chicken meal, cross contamination is a major risk. To reduce the risk, do not use the same cutting utensils for uncooked chicken as is used for cutting vegetables. Also, use one cutting board for the chicken and another fo the vegetables.
If you follow these precautions, cooking with chicken is perfectly safe and has benefits fro your general health,
Assuming you are now feeling a little more upbeat about buying and cooking chicken, here are a few other things to consider to make your chicken meals more healthy and tasty.
These days there are many benefits to buying 'free-range' chickens or even 100% organic chickens. Even the high street grocery stores are beginning to sell 'organic' or 'free-range' chicken, so gettiing hold of it is easier than ever. This is a good thing because many of us are unhappy that the larger chicken producers are simply trying to make more money and not looking out for the health and wellbeing of their poultry, or the end consumers. The name, 'free-range' is usually better known by those seeking to have a healthier eating lifestyle - it requires the chickens to have access to the open air and be allowed to wander around and eat naturally instead of being restricted to a small pen, or stuffed into a barn with thousands of others. Free range chickens live a happier and stress free life, and this results in a taster meat, and a cleaner conscience for the consumer.
Organic chickens, which can also be 'free range', have the extra restriction that they are not subjected to antibiotics, hormones, herbicides or pesticides. Many people think that both Free-range and organice chickens taste better and are juicier.
Did you know that organic chicken breasts only have 10 fat calories, 110 thigh calories and a whole chicken only has 130 calories?
If you are trying to lose weight, that has to be good news, right?
If you are an athlete or body builder and are trying to increase protein levels, free-range chicken breasts have 22 grams, thighs have 19 grams and the whole chicken has 21 grams - all of that from a meat that is low cost and versatile!
About the author: Roger Wakefield works as a a keen amateur chef who provides nutritional advice and food related content for Recipes 4U (http://www.recipes-4u.co.uk), one of the most extensive free recipe collections on the internet. Recipes 4U has more than forty thousand recipes with specific recipe categories for Bacon Recipes and Fruit Recipes.
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