The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry. All poultry products should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F as determined by a food thermometer. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.
FSIS has this further advice:
- Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart and in your refrigerator.
- If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Always wash cutting boards, dishes, countertops, and utensils with hot soapy water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
- Cook foods thoroughly and refrigerate them promptly.
- Don't thaw foods at room temperature.
- Use a clean food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, casseroles, and other foods.