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Bird Flu (Avian Flu) Questions

Q: How can I know if my chicken is safe to eat? The Bird flu is really scary.


This is the first year I did not have turkey on Thanksgiving because I was scared of the bird flu. Someone said it's only chicken, but I figure a bird is a bird.

Is the poultry we buy here in the States really safe to eat.

A: USDA regulations are very strict. At the present time, there is no danger to our food supply.

You can keep up on the latest information by going to www.usda.gov/birdflu

For example, the web site says:

Eating properly handled and cooked poultry is safe. If High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) were detected in the U.S., the chance of infected poultry entering the human food chain would be extremely low.

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food;
  • Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other foods;
  • After cutting raw meats, wash cutting board, knife, and counter tops with hot, soapy water;
  • Sanitize cutting boards by using a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water; and
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure food has reached the proper temperature. Cook whole birds to 180 F; breasts to 170 F; drumsticks, thighs and wings to 180 F; ground turkey and chicken to 165 F; and a minimum oven temperature of 325 F.
Poultry products imported to the U.S. must meet all safety standards applied to foods produced in the U.S.

No poultry from countries with confirmed cases of H5N1 HPAI can be imported into the United States.

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Meat Cutter Ed Jesse of Old World Meats in Euclid

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