Friday, December 22, 2006

Cooking Chicken Safely

When cooking any kind of meat it's important to adhere to basic cooking safety rules. Undercooked meats can make you sick and sometimes lead to serious illness. This is especially true with undercooked chicken.

According to research conducted by Consumer Reports, organic and non-antibiotics types of chicken exhibited a lower instance of contamination. I've been cooking "free range" chicken for several years. Not only does it taste better, but now we know it's healthier too. I was surprised to read about the percentage rate of contamination for Tyson's chicken in the Consumer Reports article. On the other hand, Ranger's chicken seemed to yield very good results in the testing conducted by the consumer's magazine. I stopped using Tyson's chicken several years ago for different reasons, but based on this article I doubt that I'll ever buy it again.

For the many, many reasons cited in the Consumer Reports article, chicken is best if cooked when it's fresh. If you're not going to cook it for a couple days it's better to freeze it, just to be on the safe side. Remember to cook chicken to at least 165 degrees internal temperature, but to be extra sure we now cook all our chicken to at least 170 degrees.

When cooking meats, and especially when cooking chicken, it pays to use a meat thermometer.

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