Food for Thought Column: Could Salmonella be lurking in your chicken fingers?

(NC) Sometimes, when in a hurry to prepare a meal for the kids we may forget some basic safety prep. But recent investigations have linked frozen raw breaded chicken products to Salmonella outbreaks. That’s why it’s important to handle this food safely.

While these products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned, they contain raw chicken. It’s important to handle and cook them properly. Cook all frozen breaded chicken products to an internal temperature of at least 74°C •165°F) to ensure they are safe to eat.

In order to protect yourself from Salmonella bacteria, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling these products, follow package cooking instructions and use a separate plate when handling. These are just a few ways to avoid illnesses caused by Salmonella.

People infected with Salmonella can have a wide range of symptoms, including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. These symptoms usually last for four to seven days. In healthy people, Salmonella infections often clear up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness and hospitalization may occur.

Make sure your breaded chicken is prepared properly so that your whole family stays safe!

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