One of the reasons why we love chicken as much as we do is because it is very flexible meat, one that is easy to cook, and one that offers a wide range of possibilities when preparing. There are many side dishes that can complement any chicken meal quite well, and there are many options to choose from when shopping for chicken. However, there are some important safety considerations we need to keep in mind if we want to keep our chicken fresh and safe.
One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when grocery shopping for chicken is checking the expiration date, just as we do with most food items. If you pick one that is past the sell-by date, you definitely want to leave it behind and don’t take any chances. If you choose one that is one or two days away from the sell-by date, only buy it if you know you will consume it before then.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the packaging and the way it looks and feels. We must always check that the packaging of our chicken is well chilled and tight. If there are any exposed areas, we should leave the tray behind. There are many pollutants in the air, and they can contaminate chicken quite easily. Also, make sure that the chicken feels plump and firm, and that it has a nice pink color.
When it comes to cooking chicken, we must be very careful when handling in prior, and make sure we thoroughly wash our hands and use clean utensils when chopping and preparing chicken. This is because poultry meat can be quite delicate, and salmonella bacteria can contaminate chicken when we are preparing it.
We should also be careful when we are marinating the chicken and be mindful of the materials we use. So, when we marinate chicken, try to use glass or plastic bowls. We should avoid using aluminum bowls, though, since this material can react to the acids of our marinade, potentially ruining the meat.
Last but not least, it is important that we pay attention to how we are storing our chicken. Because it is highly perishable, we need to make sure we handle it as carefully as possible, especially during hot weather. If we are soon to cook it, we need to keep chicken in the coldest part of our fridge, which is usually the lowest part, right where we might keep fruit and vegetables. If we will not cook it during the next 24 hours, the best thing to do is to keep it frozen instead. This way we will make sure our chicken stays as fresh and safe as it should, allowing us to fully enjoy this delicious meat.