In the last few years, it seems every time we turn on the television or read the news, there is yet another food recall. Although it can be both annoying and stressing, this is actually a good thing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracks reported outbreaks and proceeds to identify the exact cause of any reported food poisoning in an effort to keep the general public safe.
The CDC heads up the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS), whose sole purpose is to collect data and track any reported illnesses due to foodborne outbreaks. An outbreak is classified as any time two or more people are exhibiting the same symptoms after having eaten a common food.
Between 2009 and 2015, as many as 5,760 suspected outbreaks were reported, which culminated in more than 100,000 individuals becoming ill. According to the CDC, the food most commonly responsible for the illness was—chicken. Within the above mentioned time frame, 2009-2015, chicken was responsible for as many as 3,114 outbreaks of food-related illness. That was 12 percent of all food poisoning cases reported in that time frame.
When it comes to chicken, it is imperative that you handle it safely, and that it is cooked thoroughly. As many already know, undercooked chicken contains bacteria, salmonella, that if left unchecked can be dangerous if not life-threatening. The following is recommended by the CDC:
- Place packages of chicken in a plastic bag before placing in a shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination.
- Wash your hand with soap and warm water both 20 seconds before and after the handling of raw chicken.
- The CDC now advises that you never wash raw chicken.
- Use a specially designated cutting board for raw chicken.
- Never place any other type of food on a board or surface that was previously touched by raw chicken.
- Make sure that the internal temperature of cooked chicken reaches least 165 degrees F.
As you can see, there are just a few steps that one can take to ensure that they won’t fall victim to food poisoning.