How to Avoid Salmonella When Preparing Chicken

Published: 13th February 2009
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Recently, the risks of Salmonella, in particular from eating chicken, have been mentioned so much on TV most people would have thought that incidences of infection to have reduced to almost zero. Sadly this is not what has happened. For regular chicken eaters, the risks of getting sick or heaven forbid, dying are still there, and instances still occur.

Knowing exactly what Salmonella is will help chicken consumers eliminate the risks and avoid infection.

What is Salmonella?
It is a type of food poisoning caused by a specific bacteria that lives in humans, birds and other animals used for meat.
If you are unfortunate enough to become infected with salmonella, they may suffer from fever, diarrhoea, being physically sick (ie vomiting) and severe stomach cramp. These symptoms can start within 12 hours after eating the infected poultry and can last up to three days. Most sufferers recover naturally, but in some cases, it can become worse, requiring hospitalisation and in a few cases, can lead to death.

Help! How Can I Avoid This?

The advice given to those who are cooking with chicken is :

* Wash your hands AND the chicken before before cooking.
Salmonella can exist 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.
If getting ready to prepare a chicken meal, cross contamination is a major danger. To reduce the danger, 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 welcome development because many of us are unhappy that the larger chicken farms are more or less just looking for a profit 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 walk around and eat naturally instead of being confined in a small pen, or stuffed into a barn with thousands of others. Free range chickens live a more pleasant 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 further restriction that they are not pumped with antibiotics, hormones, herbicides or pesticides. Many people believe 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 tastes good as well!

R.Wakefield works as a a web developer who provides food and diet information and food articles for Recipes 4U, one of the greatest free recipe collections on the net. Recipes 4U has over 40,000 recipes with specific recipe categories for Irish Recipes, Meal Recipes and Vegetable Recipes. If you are looking for delicious recipes to prepare at home, you can find many recipes that fit the bill at Recipes 4U.

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