The Jakarta Post
It is not recommended to wash chicken before cooking it as it can spread bacteria and make it stick to surrounding surfaces. (Shutterstock/Sergey Fatin)
Chicken is a popular protein for many, especially in Indonesia. It can easily be found in supermarkets, even mini marts, at quite an affordable price, and there is a variety of easy ways to cook it.
Unfortunately, many people do not know to properly prepare chicken when cooking at home, according to kompas.com. And if not carefully handled, this delicious poultry meat can become a major threat to your health.
Below are some of the mistakes people often make when handling raw chicken meat:
1. Leaving chicken out for too long
Many home cooks leave chicken on a table for too long, while room temperatures can cause dangerous bacteria to grow on the meat, which can lead to food poisoning if the tainted meat is consumed.
Best solution? Store the meat in the refrigerator after you arrive home from shopping and only take it out when you're about to cook it.
If the chicken is frozen, let it thaw in the fridge for two days prior to cooking it.
2. Storing it the wrong way
You cannot just store chicken meat anywhere in the fridge, as dripping fluids can contaminate other food.
Always put it on a plate, seal or cover it and store it on the lowest rack of the fridge.
3. Washing chicken before cooking it
It is not recommended to wash chicken before cooking it as it can spread bacteria and make it stick to surrounding surfaces.
Opt to just fry it or cook it at the right temperature.
Read also: Six foods you should not wash before cooking
4. Spicing it the wrong way
Putting spices on chicken will of course make it more savory. It is also the easiest way to make it more tender. However, marinating the meat in spices for too long can make it prone to bacteria contamination, which thrives in warm temperatures.
Opt to marinate the chicken in spices inside a plastic bag or closed container in the fridge. Then throw the plastic away after you are finished using it.
You should also never reuse the spices that have touched raw chicken meat.
5. Reuse unwashed ware that has touched raw meat
Never use kitchenware that has touched raw chicken meat to cook other foods as the risk of salmonella contamination is high. Always wash all parts of the tools you used to prepare the meat.
6. Mixing raw chicken meat with other ingredients
For those who have a small kitchen, saving space while cooking is a must. However, placing raw cutlets of chicken in the same spot as other ingredients may endanger your health as the bacteria can spread and contaminate them.
7. Forgetting to wash your hands
We often use our bare hands to hold and marinate foods. However, if your hands have touched the chicken, bacteria on the meat can stick and contaminate anything that you later touch. Hence, make sure to always wash your hands after touching raw chicken.
You can also touch the chicken using only one hand and use the other hand if you need to touch something else, like picking up a salt shaker or turning on a water faucet.
8. Not cleaning your kitchen sponge
Washing kitchenware that has touched raw chicken meat carefully does not guarantee their cleanliness. The sponge that you use is also important as it could serve as a host for dangerous bacteria.
It is recommended to wash your kitchen sponge at least once every two days, and regularly clean your dish towels. It will be even better to change your sponge and kitchen wipes every two to three weeks, depending on how often they touch poultry meat. (kes)