WASHINGTON DC – About 1 in 25 packages of raw chicken at the grocery store is contaminated with Salmonella. To avoid getting sick keep raw chicken away from ready-to-eat foods, like salads, and cook chicken to 165°F.
CDC estimates that every year in the United States about 1 million people get sick from eating contaminated poultry.
If chicken is on your menu, follow these tips when shopping, cooking, and eating out to help prevent food poisoning:
- Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting it in your shopping cart or refrigerator to keep raw juices from getting onto other foods.
- Wash hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken.
- Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.
- Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
- Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.
- Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.
- Use a food thermometerexternal icon to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
- If cooking a microwaveable meal that includes frozen raw chicken, handle it as you would fresh raw chicken. Follow cooking directions carefully to prevent food poisoning.
- If you think the chicken you are served at a restaurant or anywhere else is not fully cooked, send it back for more cooking.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if the food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, like a hot car or summer picnic).