Food safety tips for preparing and cooking chicken

All raw meat products, including chicken, may carry bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The two most common associated with chicken are salmonella and campylobacter. We make every effort and work closely with the Food Standards Agency to minimise the likelihood of these being present. Follow our food hygiene advice below every time you prepare food to ensure that your meal is safe.

What is cross contamination?

Cross contamination occurs when harmful bacteria such as campylobacter are spread between food, packaging, hands, surfaces and equipment. Avoid cross contamination by washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, keeping raw and cooked foods separate and washing utensils after you have used them for raw meat or unwashed vegetables. This prevents bacteria spreading to other foods that are ready-to-eat.

Food Hygiene Advice

1. Cover and chill raw meat and chicken

Cover raw meat and chicken, ideally place in a leak proof bag, and store at the bottom of the fridge so juices cannot drip on to other foods and contaminate them with food poisoning bacteria such as campylobacter.

2. Don't wash raw chicken

Cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter, while washing raw meat and chicken can spread germs by splashing.

3. Wash utensils used in the preparation of chicken

Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils and chopping boards in hot water using washing up liquid and allow to air dry.  Clean, and ideally spray, with disinfectant all surfaces used to prepare raw meat and chicken.

4. Wash Hands

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, after handling raw chicken. This helps stop the spread of campylobacter by avoiding cross contamination. Use disposable cleaning cloths to avoid transferring bacteria on the cloth.

5. Cook chicken thoroughly

Make sure chicken is steaming hot all the way through before serving. Cut in to the thickest part of the meat and check that it is steaming hot with no pink meat and that the juices run clear, or use a temperature probe to achieve over 72°C, ideally 80°C.

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