Bird Flu: Tips For Safe Egg And Chicken Consumption

As the concern of bird flu looms, concerns about food safety, especially regarding chicken and eggs, have surged. Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, is a viral infection that primarily affects birds but can occasionally spread to humans. With recent outbreaks sparking alarm, it's essential to understand the risks and precautions associated with consuming poultry products. With the avian flu epidemic in full swing, it's important to know what to avoid eating, especially chicken and eggs. Here’s what to know. 

What is Bird Flu? 

Strains of the influenza virus that mostly infect birds generate the very infectious illness known as bird flu. This virus mostly affects wild birds, especially ducks and geese, but it may also infect domestic animals including chickens, ducks, and turkeys. There are several subtypes of avian influenza viruses, with some posing greater risks to human health than others. 

What to Keep in Mind When Eating Eggs and Chicken 

Ensure Proper Cooking 

To eliminate any possibility of germs or viruses, it is essential to cook poultry products, such as eggs and chicken, to a very high temperature. The white and yolk of an egg should be firm when cooked, while the internal temperature of a piece of chicken should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius). 

Avoid Consuming Raw or Undercooked Products 

Do not eat eggs in any form, whether they are raw, undercooked, or in homemade mayonnaise, mousse, or tiramisu, among other treats that use eggs. Similarly, you shouldn't eat poultry that isn't fully cooked, such as burgers with chicken patty or rare chicken breast.  

Practice Good Food Hygiene 

Always use clean hands while handling and cooking with chicken. To avoid spreading germs, always use soap and water to wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken or eggs. Also, use clean and sanitised cutting boards, cutlery, and other surfaces. 

Separate Raw and Cooked Foods 

Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw poultry products separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Use separate cutting boards, utensils, and plates for raw chicken and eggs to avoid spreading bacteria or viruses to other foods. 

Store Eggs and Chicken Properly 

Store eggs in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below to inhibit bacterial growth. Keep raw chicken refrigerated at or below 40°F (4°C) and use it within two days of purchase, or freeze it for longer storage.