Bird Flu scare: consume chicken without fear but with proper care says FSSAI

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the Bird Flu pandemic, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said that consumption of poultry products is safe provided due care is taken during handling and cooking.
In a guidance document on “Safe handling, processing and consumption of poultry meat and eggs during bird flu pandemic” for creating awareness amongst Food Business Operators (FBOs) and consumers, FSSAI has suggested that “proper cooking inactivates the virus present inside the meat and eggs”.
Poultry meat and eggs from the areas affected with outbreaks in poultry should not be consumed raw or partially cooked. However, to date, no evidence indicates that anyone has become infected following the consumption of properly cooked poultry or poultry products, even if these foods were contaminated with the avian influenza virus, the authority said.
According to guidelines, one should not eat half-boiled eggs or under-cooked chicken. Direct contact with birds in the infected areas and touching dead birds with bare hands should be avoided. It says that raw meat is not to be kept in open, direct contact with raw meat be avoided. One can use mask and gloves at the time of handling raw chicken, wash hands frequently and maintain the cleanliness of surroundings.
FSSAI says that eating chicken, eggs and their products after cooking is safe as the virus is destroyed at 70°C if held for about three seconds. Also, properly cooking meat or eggs to achieve a temperature of 74°C in eggs or all parts of meat will inactivate the virus.

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