Chicken is safe if handled and cooked correctly. Tips to protect yourself from food poisoning at home:
Make sure chicken is properly wrapped and in leak-proof packaging so that meat and juices don’t come into contact with any other foods or work surfaces, and wash your hands after handling.
Refrigerate (at or below 5ºC) raw chicken. Bacteria multiply faster at room temperature. Listeria can also multiply at refrigeration temperatures so it’s important to stick to the use-by date.
Don’t wash raw chicken, as you could splash the bacteria onto the sink, worktops or nearby dishes, increasing cross-contamination.
Store raw meat in a sealed container at the bottom of your fridge. Keep it separate from ready-to-eat foods such as ham and salad. As these don’t need cooking, any bacteria transferred to them won’t be killed.
Use different chopping boards and knives for preparing raw meat to other foods, and wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling.
It’s vital you cook chicken thoroughly – the inside must be piping hot with no pink bits, and juices must run clear. Cooking at temperatures above 70ºC (165ºF) will kill bacteria.