Proper food preparation is one of the most important procedures that restaurants need to implement. Safe food handling, especially raw meat products like chicken, should be observed. We should properly prepare chicken.
Here’s a guide on properly handling uncooked chicken and how you can effectively prepare it before cooking:
The Importance of Preparing Chicken Correctly
Chicken is a popular ingredient that many restaurants use. But, before it is cooked and served, it is important that it is prepared correctly.
Using thorough food preparation techniques will ensure that all foods coming out of the kitchen are safe to consume. This is important because raw poultry products contain bacteria, such as campylobacter and salmonella, which can cause infections and food poisoning.
Bacteria from raw chicken can also be transferred onto utensils, kitchen surfaces, and nearby ingredients. Therefore, restaurants need to ensure that cooking areas are frequently cleaned to prevent cross contamination and potential food allergy outbreaks.
The Dos of Preparing Chicken
- Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds after handling raw chicken and to sanitize any surface areas that have touched it or its juices. This will prevent cross contamination and can stop the spread of bacteria from the raw chicken. It is best to use mild bleach or hot and soapy water to sanitize surfaces, and equipment that was used to prepare the meat.
- Keep uncooked chicken in the freezer. Be sure to carefully wrap the raw chicken before placing it into the freezer. At a freezing temperature, chicken can be stored for about a year.
- Dispose of any packages, foils, or plastic wrap that was used to cover raw chicken. Any type of packaging that was used to store raw chicken should not be reused because it can contain bacteria.
The Don’ts to Properly Prepare Chicken
- DO NOT rinse poultry before cooking. The U.S. Department of Agriculture debunked the myth that washing meat and poultry in salt water, vinegar, or lemon kills bacteria. Not only is rinsing chicken futile in destroying bacteria, but it will also cause bacteria to spread as the meat-tainted water splashes on countertops, sinks, and nearby equipment. The only way to destroy bacteria is by cooking the chicken at the appropriate temperature (165°F)..
- Do not handle foods that won’t be cooked, such as vegetables and fruits, before touching raw chicken. Handling other foods before raw meats will prevent the food from being contaminated with raw meat bacteria.
- DO NOT leave raw or frozen chicken out to sit at room temperature. Raw chicken at a room temperature can be a great breeding ground for bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. If you need to thaw a chicken, it should be done either in the refrigerator, in a cold water bath, or by a microwave.
- DO NOT use the same cooking tools for raw chicken and other ingredients. For example, use different utensils and cutting boards for raw chicken, and another set for produce, vegetables, and cooked meats. By separating ingredients, cross contamination can be prevented.
Proper Handling Guidelines Should be Clear
To have thorough techniques of preparing raw chicken, restaurant teams need to make sure that their procedures outline:
- How to handle raw or frozen chicken and other meats in the kitchen
- Cleanliness of kitchen staff and sanitation of all kitchen surfaces and equipment
- Proper disposal of items that come into contact with raw chicken
- Food serving businesses need to understand and implement proper food preparation procedures when handling raw chicken and other poultry.
- Teams should prevent food-borne illnesses
- Diners of a restaurant will be less likely to have incidents with food allergies due to reduced cross contamination