One of the most common threats to chicken meat is salmonella. If not handled properly, salmonella can cause real problems.
There are many ways you can keep chicken safe from salmonella. But many people seem not sure how to deal with this issue.
Many people think that freezing can kill salmonella. If you ask the same question, then this post is for you.
Does freezing chicken kill salmonella?
Unfortunately, freezing will not kill salmonella in chickens. However, freezing can restrain the bacteria from growing rapidly. Therefore, a contaminated chicken cannot be saved in the freezer.
The best thing I know you should be doing to kill salmonella is cooking. But once the chicken is contaminated, I do not recommend cooking it.
The safest thing to do is to discard the chicken. Never compromise your health by eating unsafe foods.
Bacterial contamination mostly happens when the chicken is poorly handled and left at room temperature for too long.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service warns that perishables left at room temperature for more than two hours are not safe to consume.
The main reason for this is bacterial contamination. In the warm environment, bacteria will grow and multiply rapidly after two hours.
If chicken is left on the countertop for more than two hours, I highly recommend that you do not freeze or refrigerate it.
Freezing will not fix the issue. If it is a little bit more than two hours, cooking is the best option.
But if the chicken was left for more than three to four hours, it should be discarded.
What temperature kills salmonella in chicken?
Salmonella in chickens can be killed at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the reason why I recommend cooking to make the chicken safe to eat.
For thousands of years, people rely on cooking or heating foods to survive. For me, cooked foods are the safest ones.
Cook the chicken thoroughly until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Higher temperature is better to kill bacteria.
After cooking, consume the chicken and never leave it at room temperature for too long.
Leftovers should be frozen or refrigerated right after the meal. This is to prevent the food from bacterial growth.
How to kill salmonella in chicken?
Although I have mentioned cooking as the quick and the best way to kill bacteria, you might still wonder how to avoid this issue.
Everyone might agree with me when I say that prevention is still better than cure. If you can keep your chicken from salmonella, it will save you time, energy, and worry.
That said, I decided to include in this post some of the important things you need to know how to prevent this issue from happening.
Therefore, this section will focus on the things you can do to keep chicken safe from salmonella.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the following tips.
Tip #1. Clean the chicken thoroughly
Washing the chicken thoroughly is a very important thing to do before freezing. This is because you do not know how the meat was handled.
I like to wash the chicken in running water to make sure that the bacteria have no chance to contaminate other meat.
Tip #2. Never leave the chicken on the countertop
After you washed the chicken, make sure to pop it into the freezer immediately. Do not leave it on the countertop or at room temperature.
Always remember that the bacteria can grow quickly in the warm environment. Raw chicken can only stay on the counter for less than two hours.
If the chicken is left for more than two hours, you should not freeze it. Cook it instead.
But if the chicken is left at room temperature for more than 3-4 hours, I suggest that you discard it.
Tip #3. Cook the chicken thoroughly
I do not know about your cooking style and taste, but the best thing to do with poultry goods is to cook them thoroughly.
Salmonella can survive in the meat when not cooked at a high temperature. Remember that salmonella can only be killed at 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Leftover chicken should be stored in the fridge or freezer, not on the counter.
Can you get salmonella from the cooked chicken left out?
If the chicken is cooked thoroughly, salmonella should have killed. Therefore, cooked chicken is safe.
However, if the cooked chicken is left out for too long on the counter or at room temperature, bacteria can contaminate the chicken.
Needless to say that cooked chicken that is left out for too long will not be safe to eat.
I suggest that you discard it instead.
Freezing is the best way to store chicken. But only if the chicken is handled properly.
Does freezing chicken kill salmonella? Unfortunately, freezing chicken will not kill salmonella.
Freezing will only restrain salmonella from growing rapidly but they stay alive in the meat.
The best way to kill salmonella is to cook the chicken thoroughly. You can do it with raw and thawed chicken.
Learn more about heating foods here.