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Health risks: Better not wash off raw poultry!

Health risks: Better not wash off raw poultry!


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Health experts do not recommend washing raw poultry meat

Washing up poultry thoroughly before eating is definitely wrong, health experts recently said. In the past, it was often conveyed the other way around, that poultry should be washed off. Washing poultry before preparation can spread health-threatening germs in the kitchen, which can lead to considerable infections.

Campylobacter on chicken meat

"Turkey meat contaminated with germs", "Pathogens found in chicken legs": Such headlines have been read over and over again in recent years. The bacteria found are often "Campylobacter". These can cause serious health problems. The dangerous pathogens can be killed by heat. However, washing the meat with water is not recommended. This is also pointed out by the British health authority.

Can I cook or heat chicken in the microwave?

Food experts strongly advise against heating chicken in the microwave. This changes the protein structure in the meat. The organism can no longer properly utilize the proteins. It is not uncommon for indigestion, nausea, malaise, abdominal pain and diarrhea to occur. Instead, poultry should be warmed up on the stove. In order to minimize the risk of infection, the meat should also be well roasted in the middle. Therefore it makes sense to heat the meat on all sides for minutes.

Bacteria can spread during washing

Cookbooks often say that poultry meat should be washed before cooking. The British health authority NHS (National Health Service) explicitly warns against this approach.

Read on:
- Lack of hygiene: a third do not wash their hands after using the toilet

- Exaggerated hygiene leads to more resistant germs

Because if the poultry is kept under the tap, the spray water can spread the Campylobacter that often occurs on the meat to sponges, cutting boards, knives, etc. over the kitchen surface. A few of these rod-shaped bacteria are sufficient for an infection, according to the NHS. The agency said Campylobacter is the leading cause of food poisoning in the UK. Around 50 percent of the poultry sold in the UK is contaminated with these bacteria.

Infections can be dangerous

Campylobacter can cause infections that include symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

In rare cases, complications of Campylobacteriosis can also be Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disease of the nervous system.

In immunocompromised patients, a chronic course threatens and in the worst case the infection can reach life-threatening proportions. A food infection can be particularly dangerous for older people.

Observe hygiene rules

The health authority therefore points out that special attention should be paid to kitchen hygiene for poultry meat. Raw chicken should always be covered and kept in the refrigerator at the bottom, so that any escaping liquid does not drip onto other foods.

Kitchen utensils such as knives, cutting boards and fittings must always be cleaned thoroughly after preparing poultry. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards so that the bacteria do not spread.

Always heat meat sufficiently

The most important thing, however, is that the meat is always well cooked, because this is the only way the pathogens die.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) writes on its website: "Heat poultry and meat dishes sufficiently until the escaping meat juice is clear and the meat has turned whitish (poultry), gray pink (pork) or gray-brown (beef)."

According to the experts, 70 ° C must be reached inside the food for at least two minutes. If in doubt, the temperature can be checked with a meat thermometer.

Cold is not enough to kill the germs: "The freezing of food reduces the number of Campylobacter, but does not kill it enough," says the BfR.

Caution every second chicken in the trade is contaminated with harmful germs

After many years of federal government efforts, antibiotics in factory farming should no longer be a cause for concern, writes the environmental organization Germanwatch on its website.

Unfortunately, that is still not true. Because discounter chickens are contaminated to 56 percent with germs, which are also resistant to antibiotics. More than every third chicken in the trade is contaminated with germs that are resistant to reserve antibiotics.

Bad ecological balance of organic poultry meat

The "organic chicken" has almost twice as much feed consumption, which means that the waste of resources is anything but "eco", three kg of feed must be fed from a kg of chicken meat for "production". (ad)

Author and source information


Video: The health risks of eating raw chicken (June 2022).