|If you are one of the many turning your nose at poultry due to
the threat of bird flu, you may be interested to know there are
measures you can take in order to continue to eat your favorite
foods. There have been contradictory reports on whether the
virus has been spread from the consumption of undercooked
poultry, but you should err on the side of safety in this
regard to avoid becoming infected.
Interestingly enough, many of the bird flu precautions are the
same precautions you should already be taking to avoid bacteria
such as salmonella. A little common sense and good hygiene will
go a long way in preventing infection.
The first and most obvious tip is - DO NOT EAT RAW POULTRY!
Aside from being disgusting, it is also dangerous. You should
fully cook all meat you ingest. How do you tell if the meat is
fully cooked? It should not retain any pink color, the juice
should run clear, and the meat should reach a temperature of at
least 70 to 75 degrees Celsius or roughly 165 degrees
Fahrenheit. While freezing will not kill the disease, heat will
- but only at sufficient temperatures. Therefore, you should be
sure to thoroughly cook all poultry.
Other tips from the World Health Organization (WHO) include a
few more of the basics. You should not handle raw meat without
washing your hands thoroughly before and after (with
antibacterial soap, preferably); you should take special care
not to cross contaminate cooked food and raw meat by allowing
the two to come in contact, using the same knife or other
utensils, or handling food without properly washing your hands;
and do not place cooked food back on the same plate or dish it
was on when it was raw. Each of these is basic information that
applies to, not only poultry, but all meat.
Also, thoroughly wash all surfaces and dishes that come in
contact with raw meat (with antibacterial cleanser or soap).
You should also avoid using raw or undercooked eggs in food
preparation and cook eggs thoroughly (they suggest cooking
until yolks are no longer runny).
In handling meat, you should also remember that the bird flu
virus is not killed by freezing; therefore, all precautions
should also be taken in handling frozen poultry as though it
had just come from the market. With these simple steps, you can
feel comfortable ingesting poultry, free from worry about bird
About The Author: Sarah is an acclaimed writer on medical
matters, and has written extensively on the subjects of
Attention Deficit Disorder, Bird Flu and Cohn's Disease. For
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