In the Kitchen

Cooking & Handling

Bacteria are everywhere, and while most are harmless or even beneficial to humans, others can make you sick. All foods, including meat, fruits, and vegetables have the potential to cause food-borne illness.

Wash Hands and Surfaces Often

  • Wash your hands and utensils with hot soapy water before and after poultry preparation
  • Use paper towels for wipe ups and drying


  • The safest way to thaw poultry is in the refrigerator, allowing 10 hours per kg/5 hours per lb. Place it in its freezer wrapping on a tray or plate on the bottom shelf.
  • Poultry defrosted in the microwave should be cooked immediately. Defrost at 10-15 minutes per kilogram (5 minutes per pound)
  • Wrapped, in several changes of cold water. 2 hours per kilogram (1 hour per pound)

Do NOT Cross-Contaminate

  • Make sure that juices and marinades from poultry do not drip onto other foods. Keep raw poultry separate from cooked meats or cold cuts in the refrigerator.
  • Prevent uncooked juices dripping onto other foods by placing on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
  • Prevent cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for meats, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and breads. Clean cutting boards in the dishwasher or scrub with hot water and detergent after each use.
  • Always marinade chicken in the fridge. Never save leftover marinade, throw it out.

What can consumers do to keep bacteria at bay