Salmonella in frozen chicken: basic steps to reduce the risk of getting sick

Salmonella in frozen chicken: basic steps to reduce the risk of getting sick

You should never place cooked food or fresh produce on a surface where you have placed raw chicken.

Photo: Olya Kobruseva / Pexels

Chicken is the most commonly eaten meat in the United States, even with a continually growing demand in fast food restaurants. Chicken is a nutritious meat and can be a healthy option in the diet, but can often be contaminated with infectious bacteria, one of the most common is Salmonella.

It is common for health authorities to report chicken recalls associated with Salmonella. Eating food contaminated with it can cause an infection such as salmonellosis, which in some people can be serious.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick from Salmonella When Handling and Eating Chicken

When buying the chicken, place it in a disposable plastic bag before putting it in the shopping cart or in the refrigerator, thereby preventing raw juices from coming into contact with other foods.

Wash your hands well with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling the chicken.

Don’t wash raw chicken. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend washing red meat and poultry as the juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops with bacteria such as Salmonella.

It is very important that you do not place cooked food or fresh products on a surface where you have placed raw chicken; be it plate, cutting board, container or the countertop.

Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops in hot, soapy water after preparing the chicken.

Cook chicken until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 ° F. Use a clean food thermometer. It penetrates well into the meat, taking care that it does not come out the other side and touch the tray. To measure the exact temperature of a whole chicken, the thermometer must be inserted into the thigh.

Frozen raw chicken for microwave meals should be handled as you would fresh raw chicken. Follow the cooking instructions on the packaging promptly.

Whenever you eat at a restaurant, ask for fully cooked chicken and if they don’t present it to you that way, ask them to cook it more.

Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within the first 2 hours or within 1 hour if the outside temperature is warm, above 90 ° F. Bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone” between 40 ° F and 140 ° F.


Salmonella infection is known as salmonellosis. It is more common in summer, when hot weather and unrefrigerated foods create ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.

Salmonella can be found in many foods, including beef, chicken, eggs, fruits, pork, sprouts, vegetables, and even processed foods.

Symptoms of infection generally appear between 6 hours and 6 days after eating a contaminated food, although they may take longer to appear. These Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days.

Some people are more likely to have a more serious Salmonella infection and even require hospitalization. Those most at risk include children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.

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