There is no dispute that chicken is Australia’s most favoured meat. On average, an individual will eat 43 kilograms of chicken a week, that’s more our beef and lamb consumption combined! But a recent study in the UK is causing worry over Australian’s favourite meat!
The British study discovered that the chicken sold in major supermarkets had traces of Campylobacter (a bug that causes severe food poisoning) in the bones of chicken. Australia has had a similar result as well. The Food Safety Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) also found that 84% of chicken carcasses tested positive to Campylobacter. In Australia, Campylobacter causes an approximate of 16000 food poisoning victims a year but authorities believe that, if including unreported cases, there would be 179000.
If Campylobacter is in your system, it will take up to one to ten days for the bacteria to incubate in your system and symptoms will last for two to five days. Campylobacter will cause gastroenteritis (gastro). Symptoms may include fever, diarrhoea (which may contain blood), nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. However, some people may be infected and have no symptoms.
How to make chicken safe again
Here are some safety tips to help you prevent this bacteria from entering your system;
- Cooking chicken thoroughly! It is recommended that the inside of the chicken should reach at least 75° – a meat thermometer will be useful in this process
- Do not wash your chicken – the juice from the chicken is where all the bacteria lives
- Properly defrost the chicken before cooking it
- Ensure that you minimise the time between defrosting and cooking, and don’t leave it in room temperature for too long
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