Basic rules and their reason
For meat that is to be cooked before consumption, the main thing is to:
keep the meat refrigerated (below 5 degrees Celsius for fresh meat and below -20 degrees Celsius for frozen meat) while storing the meat; and
heat all parts of the meat to at least 75 degrees Celsius during the cooking process.
Why is this so? Because below 5 degrees Celsius, these bacteria do not multiply and at temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius, they get destroyed and become harmless.
The basic rules are simple. Unfortunately it is still rather easy to slip up and forget to
keep meat chilled at all times; and
cook chicken meat thoroughly right through
Perhaps the most common failure is not to keep raw meat clearly separate from cooked and ready to eat meat, salads and vegetables during storage and most importantly during food preparation. By cross-contaminating food that will not be exposed to heat prior to its consumption, harmful bacteria can reach a person via such a carrier.
Explore the various topics in more detail by clicking the tabs on the left to learn how to become a safe cook, or click the button at the bottom of each page to look through the information in a logical sequence from purchase and storage to handling and cooking.
There is also a handy full colour Food Safety Flyer available for download; print it off and stick it on the fridge!
Click here to go to the first step: Buying chicken