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Old 01-31-2014, 02:16 AM   #1
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Handling raw chicken

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.

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Old 01-31-2014, 03:11 AM   #2
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It does not hurt to take precautions with any and all raw meat. I'm very careful also, and you are just fine.

I'm not sure that the chicken is dangerous, since we haven't died yet of it, but still, it doesn't hurt to be careful, yes?

With love,
~Cat
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:01 AM   #3
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It seems like this subject did not exist until I became an adult, now the Chicken Police watch our every move!

Before I begin working with raw meat I fill the sink with soap, hot water and a splash of chlorine bleach. I wipe everything down with this solution and let the bowls, cutting board, knife, etc. soak for a couple of minutes to disinfect them. I don't know if this works or is necessary, it just makes me feel better.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:08 AM   #4
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And we haven't even gotten into cooking chicken and the utensils we use.
Seeing as how the chicken is uncooked when placing on the grill or in the fry pan using tongs, should we exchange exchange tongs after the first flip?
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
And we haven't even gotten into cooking chicken and the utensils we use.
Seeing as how the chicken is uncooked when placing on the grill or in the fry pan using tongs, should we exchange exchange tongs after the first flip?

No, just stick the tongs down into the fire to sterilize them.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:09 AM   #6
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My first step in handling raw chicken is to pop a hole in the package at the store and take a sniff. This step now prevents having to drive back to return rotten chicken. Several times I have been at the service counter getting rain checks on out "of stock" bogo items and overheard a manager lie to a customer returning rotten chicken. "Oh, your the first person to have this problem." I pipe right up and tell them their full of it.

Best advice I have is use common sense, but don't take it to the paranoid stage.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:11 AM   #7
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I keep a spray bottle of a bleach and water solution and spray utensils and surfaces after processing chicken or turkey.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:11 AM   #8
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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, 08:36 AM   #9
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I do exactly the same as Rocklobster and, to my knowledge, never had a problem. Don't get hung up about it but use kitchen rubber gloves whilst handling the chicken if you want. That way you won't be nervous about your skin
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:22 AM   #10
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I have never had a problem with any meat making anyone sick, but I guess it does happen, so I take precautions but don't get paranoid about it. Every time I cook, I clean my sink with Soft Scrub with bleach. All utensils are put in a sink of very hot sudsy water. I use Clorox wipes to clean the counter tops. I wash my hands several times while I'm cooking. This is so much more than my mother ever did, so I consider it safe. We both have become sick from eating in restaurants, but never at home.
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