Salmonella enteriditis is a bacteria can cause severe foodborne illness. It can be found in many foods but especially in poultry products such as chicken, turkey and duck.
BC has been experiencing an ongoing salmonella outbreak that began in 2007. The number of people sickened by salmonella is five times higher now as compared to pre-outbreak levels.
Many cases of salmonella in BC are linked to the consumption of poultry products, both meat and eggs. You can lower your risk significantly by following a few simple steps when preparing poultry products.
Poultry meat, including juices, can be contaminated with SE. When you are buying poultry meat, be extra careful to not let those juices drip onto your other foods, especially those foods that won’t be further cooked. Double-wrap poultry in plastic and keep it in a separate bag and at the bottom of your shopping cart. If you use reusable grocery bags, wash them regularly in hot, soapy water. Follow the four basic rules for keeping food safe: clean, separate, cook, chill.
As you would when handling any raw meat, wash your hands, work surfaces, cutting boards and utensils with warm soapy water thoroughly before and after touching or working with raw poultry. Washing your chicken in the sink can spread bacteria in your kitchen. To prevent contamination, do not wash your chicken, save time and put the chicken straight into the oven.
Uncooked poultry meat, including the juices, must be kept separated from any foods that are ready to eat to prevent cross contamination.
Cook all poultry meat products to an internal temperature of 74°C or hotter. With frozen breaded processed poultry products such as chicken nuggets, chicken strips or chicken popcorn, always read and cooking instructions carefully. These products look cooked when removed from the package but are in fact raw, uncooked meat. They must be cooked like any other raw poultry product.
Keep uncooked poultry meat refrigerated until just prior to preparation. Always store uncooked poultry meat at the bottom of your refrigerator and below any other foods in case of dripping juices. Do not use raw poultry meat that has passed its expiry date.