How to Prepare Chicken Safely
SAFE POULTRY PREPARATION
Poultry may be contaminated with salmonella – a bacteria that can cause food poisoning – so it must always be stored safely and cooked thoroughly. Unwrap poultry before refrigeration and wipe away any pink juices found in the bottom of the bag or tray. Remove any giblets from the cavity and store them separately for use in stock or stuffing. Place the poultry on an upturned saucer or plate on a large plate or dish and cover with a lid or another plate. Fresh poultry should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than two days.
Frozen poultry should be defrosted either in the refrigerator or in a microwave oven, but never at room temperature. Frozen poultry has defrosted properly when the chicken feels soft and springy, and there are no ice crystals left inside the bird.
Rinse the cavity with cold water and blot dry with paper towels before cooking. If cooking stuffed poultry, add the stuffing just before cooking to minimize the period when disease-producing bacteria can multiply. Weigh the stuffed bird to ensure calculation of a safe cooking time. Before serving, ensure that no pink flesh remains – poultry has cooked thoroughly when its juices run clear.