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Old 01-31-2014, 11:10 AM   #11
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I make sure to get everything out of the sink and clear the counters. It is a lot easier to clean up if you haven't dripped all over dishes and cracker boxes and knick-knacks.

I buy chicken and pork in big family sized packages, so I break them up into serving portions, and maybe bone or slice some of it all at once, so I only have to do a major cleanup then. When I get ready to use it, all I have to do is move it from the bag to the pan.

Pork worries me more than chicken, I think. Many large hog operations have MRSA infections endemic in the hogs.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:41 AM   #12
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Thank you!

Wow, this community is awesome (and fast to respond). Lots of valuable experience and suggestions. Thank you all.

It sounds like being overly precautions is the norm, so I'll keep doing that. I love the idea of cooking chicken last, so that will be my new workflow.

Really, really appreciate everyone taking the time to share knowledge.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Chris
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
I make sure to get everything out of the sink and clear the counters. It is a lot easier to clean up if you haven't dripped all over dishes and cracker boxes and knick-knacks.

I buy chicken and pork in big family sized packages, so I break them up into serving portions, and maybe bone or slice some of it all at once, so I only have to do a major cleanup then. When I get ready to use it, all I have to do is move it from the bag to the pan.

Pork worries me more than chicken, I think. Many large hog operations have MRSA infections endemic in the hogs.
Not just chicken and pork. Any raw meat and fish.

I assume that everyone washes their hands before handling food. When you've handled raw meat or fish wash the again and there is a technique involved in doing it properly:
How to wash your hands - Hand Washing Techniques from the NHS - Give soap a chance
You can buy anti-bacterial hand-washes but good old soap is as good. Hot water isn't absolutely essential as if you use water hot enough to kill bacteria you'll end up in the ER with 3rd degree burns! According to some research from a few years back it's the friction involved in washing properly that dislodges bacteria not the heat of the water.

When storing raw meat or fish cover it and put it on the lower shelf in the 'fridge. Cold air falls and can take bacteria with it to food stored underneath the meat. Don't forget that the 'fridge and the freezer only slow down the development of bacteria, they don't kill it.

Even after handling a sealed package of meat I would wash my hands as "you don't know where it's been" and even if you've packed it yourself you could have transferred bacteria to the outside of the packaging.

Don't be too neurotic about it however. Bacteria over-kill can be counter productive. A friend of mine was so obsessed with cleanliness when her children were small that the smell of bleach and disinfectant made visitors gag when the front door was opened! That family had more stomach upsets than anyone I have ever known. Eventually the doctor got so fed up of being called out to deal with a houseful of children and adults with sickness and diarrhoea that he lost his temper and told her in no uncertain terms it was her fault for being too clean! She did mend her ways after that and the stomach upsets more or less stopped.( The bleach and disinfectant makers nearly went bankrupt though with the fall in sales ;-D )
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:34 PM   #14
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I use disposable gloves (I get them in Costco) then I put the gloves in the bin .
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PlinyChris View Post
Hi All,

I have just started getting serious about cooking, and I wanted to pick everyone's expert brains about handling raw chicken.

In my chicken-recipe research, I have become quite familiar with the risks of handling/defrosting raw chicken. The problem is that the Internet has got me so darn paranoid about handling raw chicken that I find myself constantly washing my hands with soap, trying to ensure that the raw chicken (or my juice covered hands) never come into contact with anything. I feel like I am overreacting, but I can't find information online to give me the right expert guidance.

So my question is--what is the reasonable way to handle raw chicken? Again, the Internet makes raw chicken sound like it's crawling with germs that are begging to make you sick, but there has to be a reasonable middle ground.

Today I:

- Wash my hands with soap after touching chicken and before touching anything else--the pan, the stirring spoon.
- When storing chicken, I wash my hands with soap, pick up raw chicken with one hand and use the clean hand to handle and close the ziplock bag--I also avoid touching the refrigerator door with a chicken contaminated hand. If juice leaks on the plastic bag, I will literally wash the bag with cold water and soap so it doesn't contaminate things in the fridge.

Is chicken really this dangerous? I can't imagine it is ... please advise.
You are already doing it right. It sounds like you had this figured out even before you asked the forum.
I think the key is keeping raw chicken (any meat) separated from uncooked foods and or equipment/tools.
Example would be using the same knife you de-boned a chicken with, then cut up tomato's for a salad with the same knife without washing it.
That to me is common sense.

I love to cook myself and you are in for a lifetime of fun and great eating!!!!
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:09 PM   #16
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I handle chicken like any other raw meat, always making sure everything is clean, and making sure to prevent cross contamination when using utensils. Just be aware of the potential risks. But of course, when it comes to cooking chicken, that's a different matter.
I can see health inspectors, for instance, adhering to these strict guidelines when it comes to handling raw chicken. Of course, it doesn't hurt for the average folk to follow these guidelines as well.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlinyChris View Post

- Wash my hands with soap after touching chicken and before touching anything else--the pan, the stirring spoon.
- When storing chicken, I wash my hands with soap, pick up raw chicken with one hand and use the clean hand to handle and close the ziplock bag--I also avoid touching the refrigerator door with a chicken contaminated hand. If juice leaks on the plastic bag, I will literally wash the bag with cold water and soap so it doesn't contaminate things in the fridge.
Yep, you're doing everything just right. The best advice came fromRL..

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Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
When cooking with chicken at home I like to deal with it last. Get all of your other ingredients, chopped, crushed, sliced,etc, and out of the way before you get the chicken out. You can put them aside in a bowl, or whatever. Then, I handle it as little as possible on a cutting board. Start your cooking. Then wash really well with hot soapy water. I don't worry about bleach. Just wash and rinse really well and you should have no problem....
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
I make sure to get everything out of the sink and clear the counters. It is a lot easier to clean up if you haven't dripped all over dishes and cracker boxes and knick-knacks.

I buy chicken and pork in big family sized packages, so I break them up into serving portions, and maybe bone or slice some of it all at once, so I only have to do a major cleanup then. When I get ready to use it, all I have to do is move it from the bag to the pan.

Pork worries me more than chicken, I think. Many large hog operations have MRSA infections endemic in the hogs.
I hadn't heard about MRSA contamination of meat. I Googled, and that's not something I want to have to deal with.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Not just chicken and pork. Any raw meat and fish.

I assume that everyone washes their hands before handling food. When you've handled raw meat or fish wash the again and there is a technique involved in doing it properly:
How to wash your hands - Hand Washing Techniques from the NHS - Give soap a chance
You can buy anti-bacterial hand-washes but good old soap is as good. Hot water isn't absolutely essential as if you use water hot enough to kill bacteria you'll end up in the ER with 3rd degree burns! According to some research from a few years back it's the friction involved in washing properly that dislodges bacteria not the heat of the water. ...
Thanks for the hand washing link. That's pretty much how I wash my hands, but to a large extent I worked it out myself. I also make sure to rub all my cuticles, where micro-organisms could get trapped between nail and cuticle, and the tops of all my fingers.

When I worked in hospitals in Denmark I was told about a hand washing study. The germs come off with friction because the soap helps dissolve grease. They also determined that water that was warmer than comfortable was counter-productive. It dries your skin and you get chapped hands. Chapped skin traps germs.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:55 PM   #20
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....Best advice I have is use common sense, but don't take it to the paranoid stage.
^This^

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlinyChris View Post
Wow, this community is awesome (and fast to respond). Lots of valuable experience and suggestions. Thank you all.......Really, really appreciate everyone taking the time to share knowledge.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Chris
Glad we could help Chris, but just because you got answers doesn't mean you need to be a stranger around these parts. You probably have tidbits to share with us too, so be sure to come back, OK?
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