Yesterday, we related news to you of a recall affecting a series of ready-to-eat ham and chicken products that were available in California. However, when it comes to those items that require preparation, it’s largely going to be up to you to cook products all the way through so that foodborne illness isn’t a possibility. To that end, consider the poultry preparation tips on hand from a report out of Nebraska.
Caution begins with the product you’re buying. Only buy those poultry products that have yet to go past their expiration dates, and only eat expired products if you froze the items before they’ve reached those dates.
When it comes to thawing the products, you have a few choices. Submerging the bird in water is a possibility, or else you could toss it in the microwave or a fridge, provided you take steps to reduce the cross contamination threat. Where you shouldn’t thaw it is the counter, as contaminants could jump from the chicken to the counter’s surface.
If you opt to thaw the poultry in water, you can’t just toss it in the sink and wait. When you make this mistake, contaminants can leech into the water and compromise anything else you later put in the sink. Instead, the poultry needs to go in some type of waterproof bag that can then be tossed out.
Finally, make sure to cook the bird at once when it’s thawed, especially if it has just been pulled from the microwave, as the outer edges of the food may have partially cooked in such a setting.