Storing and Cooking Chicken Safely

Chicken is the most popular option for enjoying economical and tasty meat preparations. One should be cautious regarding its storage and cooking to avoid food poisoning.

Some of the tips for safe storing and cooking are:

• Chicken should be removed from the packing as soon as possible to avoid sweating of the meat and placed in ceramic or glass vessel with a lid or wrapped in foil for storage in refrigerators to prevent food contamination caused by mixing cooked and uncooked meat.
• Frozen chicken should be defrosted before use by shifting it to the refrigerator, immersing the packing in water, or using a microwave. The water and juices released should be discarded without allowing them to mix with other food preparations or cooking water. If juices drop on the work surface or floor, it should be cleaned with kitchen paper and not dish-cloth.
• After cleaning raw chicken, one should wash the hands thoroughly with warm water and soap especially under the finger nails.
• A cutting board colored red for easy identification must be separately ear-marked for preparation of chicken.
• Fresh chicken should be purchased only if it is odorless, firm and shiny.
• Stuffed roasted chicken would require the body cavity to be emptied and it should be cooked for at least 20 minutes extra. Turning of the juices clear from pinkish color is an indication of it being fully cooked.
• The bones can be boiled in simmer along with water, herbs, peppercorn, onion and celery for 4 to 5 hours to prepare stock. After cooling, the stock should be stored in the freezer.

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