Safe preparation of poultry

Guide to safe preparation of poultry

Cool it
Like all raw meat, poultry can spoil quickly. Therefore, when you’re on a shopping trip, pick up your poultry just before going home. At home, place the poultry in the refrigerator or freezer immediately. Do not freeze poultry that has been previously frozen.

Thaw It
Never thaw poultry at room temperature. Leave poultry in the original package and follow one of the following methods: 

Refrigerator method

Ideal, as it keeps the meat cold until it is completely defrosted.
Place poultry on a tray in the refrigerator.
Allow 10 hours/kg.

Cold water method

In a large container, cover the poultry completely with cold water.
Change water at least every hour.
Allow 1 hour per pound (2 hours / kg).


Clean it

Rinse poultry well inside and out with cold water. Thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
Always wash hands thoroughly in hot soapy water before preparing and handling raw meat.
Do not let raw meat or juices touch ready-to-eat foods either in the refrigerator or during preparation.
Do not put cooked foods on the same plate that held raw products.
Wash utensils, dishes and surfaces used for cutting poultry with hot, soapy water. Then rinse using a sanitizing solution of one capful of chlorine bleach in a sink full of warm water. Thoroughly rinse surfaces, dishes and utensils with hot water.

Cook it

The meat of poultry is high in nutritional value and if the skin is removed prior to consuming, it is low in saturated fat as well. The light meat from the breast area tends to be lower in fat than darker meat from the thighs and drumsticks.

Poultry can be cooked with almost any cooking method, but the age of the bird often determines the best method to use. The youngest birds are the most tender and are best when cooked with dry heat cooking methods, such as roasting, frying, grilling, and broiling. The meat of older birds is much tougher and usually requires moist heat cooking methods, such as steaming, boiling, stewing, and braising, to tenderize the meat.

The center of the meat loaves should not be pink and the juices should run clear. 
Crumbled ground poultry should be cooked until no pink colour remains. When baking, set oven no lower than 160°C. After cooking, refrigerate leftovers after the poultry has cooled somewhat. Separate into small portions for fast cooking. To reheat all leftovers, cover and heat until hot and steaming throughout.

Carve it

Remove drumstick and thigh
Press leg away from body. Joint connecting leg to backbone will often snap free, or may be severed easily with knife point. Cut dark meat completely from body by following body contour carefully with the knife.

Slicing dark meat
Place drum stick and thigh on separate plate and cut through connecting joint. Both pieces may be individually sliced. Tilt drumstick to convenient angle, slicing towards the plate. Hold the thigh firmly on plate with fork. Cut even slices parallel to the bone.

Preparing breast
Place knife parallel and as close to the wing as possible. Make a deep cut into breast, cutting right to the bone. This is your base cut. All breast slices stop at this horizontal cut.

Carving breast
Carve downward, ending at the base cut. Start each new slice slightly higher up on the breast. Keep slices thin.

Store it

When storing fresh poultry, refrigerate in a covered container for use within 2 days.

Cooked poultry products may be stored in a covered container, plastic bag or aluminium foil for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Note: After cooking, keep the poultry hot, above 60°C.) or refrigerate below 4°C.). Do not leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours!

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