I was alarmed to read the results of a Consumer Reports study that said two-thirds of store-bought chickens were contaminated with harmful bacteria. The study tested 382 birds from 100 stores from 22 states around the country. Tyson and Foster Farms chickens scored the poorest — salmonella was found in 80 percent of those samples, while air-chilled chickens fared the best, with only 40 percent carrying bacteria.
The message is crystal clear: when it comes to food safety, a lot is left in the hands of the consumer. One of the biggest opportunities to cut down on contamination happens once the meat leaves the grocery store. If this new study worries you, always cook your poultry to 165°F to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Do you know how to properly handle your meat once you get it home? Take my quiz to find out . . .
Do You Know How to Handle Meat Properly?
To avoid trichinosis, what temperature does the USDA recommend cooking pork to?