When preparing chicken to eat, whether you are grilling, broiling or roasting it, safe handling can kill the pathogens that could cause illness and prevent the spread of bacteria.
Here are the key steps to follow:
- Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw poultry or meat.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods in your grocery shopping cart, refrigerator, and while preparing and handling foods at home. Also, consider placing these raw foods inside plastic bags in your grocery shopping cart to keep the juices contained.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling raw poultry
- Thaw poultry completely before cooking so that it will cook more evenly.
- Defrost poultry in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never defrost chicken at room temperature.
- If you choose to thaw the poultry in cold water or in the microwave, it must be cooked immediately.
- If possible, use one cutting board for raw poultry, and another one for cutting any fresh fruits or vegetables. If two cutting boards aren't available, prepare fruits and vegetables first, and put them safely out of the way.
- Wash the cutting board thoroughly with soap and hot water. Then, prepare the poultry. Follow by washing the cutting board again.
- Do not reuse marinades from raw poultry on cooked foods, unless you boil them before applying. Also, never taste uncooked marinade or sauce that was used on raw poultry.
- Cook chicken until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. It is best to use a food thermometer to verify this.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling poultry
- Wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils (including knives), and counter tops with soap and hot water after they come in contact with raw poultry. Using a kitchen sanitizer product with bleach is also high recommended.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration & Partnership for Food Safety Education