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Chicken Safety Tips

Updated on November 16, 2009
Always think safety when you prepare or cook chicken. You need to be very careful about bacteria and how you handle your raw and cooked chicken.
Always think safety when you prepare or cook chicken. You need to be very careful about bacteria and how you handle your raw and cooked chicken.

Think Safety When You Prepare Or Cook Chicken.

Don't risk your families heath or take the risk of getting you or your family sick when you cook or work with raw or cooked chicken. Follow the below safety tips to make sure you and your family are able to enjoy your chicken and that no one gets sick. Cross contamination is a real possibility when you work with raw chicken. Bacteria is present around raw chicken and in the blood and juices that run off of raw and partially cooked chicken. It is very important that you clean any surface where raw chicken has been with a bleach solution and never place cooked chicken back onto the same tray or plate where the raw chicken was before it was cooked.

1. Always make sure that you purchase and use chicken before the expiration date on the chicken package.

2. You want to avoid any packages of chicken that are leaking , damaged , or have frost or freezer damage.

3. When you purchase chicken you want it bagged separate from your other groceries and you want your chicken double bagged to help avoid cross contamination. You do not want chicken blood or juices to drip or run out or onto your other grocery products.

4. Take your chicken home promptly and refrigerate or freeze it according to when you are planning on cooking it. If you store your store packaged chicken in the refrigerator be sure to place the chicken package on a plate or tray to make sure no chicken juices or blood runs out onto other food items in your refrigerator.

5. You want to use any chicken you place in the refrigerator with in a day or two at the most from the time you put it into the refrigerator.

6. You want to always defrost chicken in the refrigerator on a plate or tray never in the sink or on a table. Plan ahead so your chicken can be thawed when you plan to cook it.

7. Never place vegetables or other food items onto a plate or tray that held raw chicken until the plate or tray has been washed with bleach and warm soapy water. Cross contamination is a real possibility when working with raw chicken products and you must use special care when working with raw chicken to avoid spreading bacteria and making people sick.

8. You will want to wash your hands and utensils frequently when working with raw chicken to avoid spreading bacteria.

9. Your chicken must be cooked to 165 degrees and you need a meat thermometer to check your chickens internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken. Make sure that you never serve partially cooked chicken to anyone. if you have any doubts at all be sure to check the internal temperature of your chicken and cut into the thickest part of your thickest piece of chicken. If done the juices will run clear. If you have any doubt at all cook your chicken longer.

10. Refrigerate any left over chicken as soon as possible and be sure to store it only a day or two in your refrigerator.

And if you follow those chicken safety tips you should be able to cook and enjoy chicken. One thing to keep in mind is that you can easily use boned and skinned chicken thighs in any recipe calling for chicken breasts. And the really great thing is that you can usually purchase chicken thighs at one third or less the cost of chicken breasts. You can place skinned and boned chicken thighs between plastic wrap sheets and beat your chicken thighs flat with a metal meat hammer. But be sure to always clean up any item you work with chicken with by using warm soapy water and bleach. Keep in mind that cross contamination with chicken is a real possibility.

For instance never work with raw chicken on a cutting board and then slice tomatoes on the same cutting board. Any cutting board , or surface you use and any utensils must be washed with warm soapy water and bleach before you use the same items in any way.The proper bleach solution to kill bacteria is one tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water. Use a spray bottle for your bleach solution and label it so you and everyone will know what's in it. Also keep in mind that if all possible you want a hard plastic cutting board. Cracks may happen in wooden cutting boards and bacteria can grow and multiply quickly in a very small crack.

And always keep in mind that your homes refrigerator should be kept at 40 degrees or lower to insure proper food safety and to prevent or slow bacteria growth in your refrigerator. You really need a thermometer in your refrigerator.

Always keep in mind that you can't see bacteria. You have to assume that its there and do everything possible to make sure you get rid of the bacteria and avoid cross contamination. Any and all chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees to make sure all bacteria is dead. If you follow the simple tips on this page you will always be able to enjoy your chicken and you won't have to worry about making yourself or someone else sick.

Comments About Chicken Safety

Please feel free to post your own chicken safety tips , suggestions , questions , or comments below now.

Post Your Chicken Safety Comments Below Now

Always think bacteria safety when working with raw chicken.
Always think bacteria safety when working with raw chicken.

Please feel free to post your own chicken safety tips , suggestions , questions , or comments below now.

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    • profile image

      GF Lloyd 

      2 years ago

      I have made a casserole from DEFROSTED chicken thighs. Can I chill the remains and reheat tomorrow?

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      6 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Yes you can with no problems.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Can you freeze chicken after you cook it?


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