Thursday 27 November 2014

Should we chicken out?

For NaBloPoMo November 2014 my challenge is to upload a post every day thoughout the month. That's 30 days and 30 posts. The more page views I get per day the more money I will donate to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT). Help support my challenge by logging on daily and donating directly 

Yesterday's total page views: 54

So this chicken contamination story scared me a little today, and my automatic reaction was 'should I stop eating chicken?' Until I realised of course that this is not new. Chicken infected with campylobacter has always been the case, the food standards agency has just happened to release a new report on it. But as much as I always knew you have to be really careful with undercooked chicken or contamination with raw chicken juices I did not know that up to 70% of all supermarket bought fresh chicken is infected. That is huge. And no supermarket is spared although some seem to sell a greater proportion of infected meat than others. And ironically going free range is worse as chickens pick up bacteria from the ground. I know supermarkets have pledged to reduce their rate of infected chicken over the forthcoming years by 'steam-cleaning' the meat but is this really the answer. They only plan to reduce the percentage of campylobacter in chickens by 10% so if you go in to a shop and buy a chicken you still have a very high chance of buying infected poultry. So the only real solution is incredible food hygiene and safe cooking practices.  I like to think I am pretty careful but I guess you can never be too sure. I always use a separate chopping board for meat, chicken and fish and I make sure my chicken is well cooked even if I risk over cooking it. But the best tip I ever learnt was to not wash the chicken. This made no sense to start with, I assumed by washing it you clean it, but actually all you do is spread the bacteria. 

So after my little panic I calmed down. You clearly can't stop eating chicken, but it's a great reminder of how careful you need to be with these things. 

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