Cooked Poultry

 All raw poultry is fresh poultry, right? Wrong. The term fresh on a poultry label refers to a raw product that has never been stored at temperatures lower than 26°F. Raw poultry held at 0°F or lower must be labeled frozen or previously frozen. However, no specific labeling is required for raw poultry stored at temperatures between 0-25°F.

Let's clear up another misunderstanding. When consumers hear the word poultry, many think of antibiotics and hormones. Fact is, hormones aren't used in the raising of chickens. As for antibiotics, a withdrawal period is required from the time antibiotics are administered before the bird can be slaughtered. This ensures that no residues are present in the bird's system when it is killed. Still concerned? Organically-raised birds aren't given antibiotics.

Note: It's important to cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees to kill the bacteria likely to reside in the product.  The bacterium campylobacter (usually transmitted by poultry) is the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in the U.S.  It causes about 2.5 million cases of diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps every year.  

But safety is not the only consideration.  Taste, texture, and appearance are also concerns of poultry chefs.  To eliminate a rubbery texture and pink juices, it's advisable to cook white (breast) meat to 170 degrees F and dark (thigh and leg) meat to 180 degrees F.  It will taste better to diners if it's easy to chew and attractive to view.  



Specific Poultry Products


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