If you’re like the majority of Americans, you consume chicken on a regular basis. And now one of the most powerful health organizations in the world has come out with a bombshell revelation.
Without even knowing the dangers involved, we may be putting our family’s health at risk every time we throw together that chicken cacciatore or toss the barbecue chicken on the grill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a dire warning to consumers to STOP doing this habitual practice or risk causing serious illness.
Apparently, the simple act of washing the raw chicken before cooking it greatly increases the risk of spreading harmful bacteria around your kitchen.
“Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat,” the CDC said.
“Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium Perfringens bacteria.
“If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning.”
The agency ways the risk comes when we rinse our chicken. Any harmful organisms that are on the surface of the poultry can easily be spread to the kitchen sink. Then, anytime that comes in contact with the sink will also be contaminated.
This is because “chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.”
The same goes for using a cutting board. The health organization says to NEVER use a cutting board for anything else that you have just used for chicken.
The CDC is suggesting we start forming new habits to keep your families safe and healthy.
“The agency recommended placing raw chicken in a disposable bag before placing it in the shopping cart or refrigerator, washing hands with soapy water after handling it, using a separate cutting board to handle it, and never placing cooked food or fresh produce on the same surface as uncooked chicken.”
Other habits the agency urges consumers to adopt are “using a food thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked.”
Although food poisoning is an unpleasant illness and usually runs its course in a few days, it can present more serious risks for some members of the population.
People who already have a suppressed immune system, very young children, the elderly, and pregnant women run the greatest risk of complications from these illnesses.
“It is advised to call a doctor if temperatures reach over 102 degrees, diarrhea lasts more than three days, blood is found in the stool, there is prolonged vomiting or if there are any signs of dehydration.”
So, as Benjamin Franklin said many years ago:
Be sure to follow the CDC guidelines when preparing America’s favorite meat, and your family is sure to stay strong, healthy, and food poisoning-free!