Unless you are vegan, vegetarian, or have an allergic reaction to poultry, chances are you love chicken. Not only does it taste good, but it’s also one of the most versatile foods in the world.
But did you know that chicken may carry a harmful bacteria called salmonella, and when not handled properly, salmonella could contaminate not only your kitchen but all the food that you prepare in it?
According to data, one in four pieces of raw chicken carry salmonella.
When salmonella enters the body, it causes diarrheoa, stomach pains, vomiting, and in some cases it can even be fatal.
Cooking a chicken properly should get rid of it, but according to a recent study, many households make mistakes that can cause them to unknowingly contaminate their kitchen.
“The 56 households that participated in the study seemed to know how to handle raw poultry—based on their responses to questionnaire from the study’s authors,” said a Frontline story. “But when it came to the actual prepping of raw chicken, all of them were observed making mistakes that risked spreading salmonella around their counters, sinks or utensils.”
One of the researchers who lead the study, published in Food Protection Trends Journal, was Eyob Mazengia.
He said: “People are not aware of how they are cross-contaminating their kitchen surfaces. People’s knowledge level is high… but their actual practices were much lower in terms of food safety.”
“There’s a gap in the system,” he added. “Consumers are receiving products that they are not safely able to handle.”
In a Channel News Asia report, Dr. Desmond Wai, a gastroenterologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, said that a chicken may look clean to you—free of dust and dirt—but it may contain salmonella that you cannot simply clean by rinsing the chicken with water.
In fact, when you wash a raw chicken or touch an egg with your bare hands, the bacteria then can be transferred to the sink or the water
“So after touching any raw food like chicken or an egg, we should wash the kitchen (with soap) properly before we use the same area to prepare cooked food,” Dr. Wai said.
He also recommends kitchens to have two chopping boards, one for cooked foods and the other for raw.
Share with us: how do you manage cleanliness in the kitchen?