Poultry meat and eggs ? safe to eat?
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CTA. 2006. Poultry meat and eggs ? safe to eat?. Rural Radio Resource Pack 06/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57280
When are poultry and eggs safe to eat, and how should people handle and cook them to eliminate risk of disease transmission?
Poultry meat and eggs - safe to eat? Cue: When outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu have occurred, whether in Asia, Europe or Africa, one result is that people become very frightened of eating poultry meat or eggs. In many cases this fear is not justified. For example, people who are living in areas where no cases of avian flu have been reported should not think they will be at high risk of catching the disease. While there may be a small risk, carrying out normal hygienic practices like washing hands, knives and work surfaces after cutting up a chicken, and ensuring that the meat or eggs are properly cooked, will eliminate any risk of contracting the disease, even if it should be present. However, in areas where an outbreak has occurred, consumption of poultry products is not a good idea, and will be prohibited by quarantine regulations. This is because even though cooking will kill the virus, people are at risk of contracting it from doing other tasks like plucking and handling the uncooked birds. Dr Philemon Wambura, of the Animal Diseases Research Institute in Tanzania spoke to Lazarus Laiser about the risks from consumption of poultry and eggs. Lazarus began by asking whether it was safe for people to eat birds which look healthy, if they come from a flock in which other birds have shown symptoms which could be avian flu. IN: ?No, no it is not safe because ?? OUT: ??precautious measures of whole hygiene.? DUR?N: 3?12? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Philemon Wambura, advising that farmers and poultry keepers maintain good hygiene standards when handling chickens, to minimise the risk of catching avian flu. Transcript Wambura No, no it is not safe because by just merely looking at the chickens you cannot really tell sometimes chickens which are incubating the disease. So once the flock has been infected normally there is a quarantine. So both chickens, eggs and all egg products are not really safe for human consumption or even to catch them and to be closer to the farm. Laiser How about eggs from birds from that farm? Wambura Even the egg products or everything that is concerned with chickens even the droppings and all the surroundings are not really safe. Laiser Let us think about the preparation of preparing and cooking the poultry. Are there any extra precautions that people should take when handling and preparing poultry for cooking? Wambura Yes if they are coming from clean flock you take precautions as usual, that you should be prepare your chicken under hygienic conditions. Make sure that you wash the chicken very well and you cook it very well as usual, and wash your hands after the cutting the chickens and all the hygiene measures. Just simply washing hands with soap can suffice. Laiser In terms of cooking is there any advice people should know in order to reduce the risk of them catching the virus? Wambura The big risk is from the flock itself. If the flock is clean and it has been confirmed by the authorities that your flock is ok and you proceed with the selling of meat, I think the normal cooking as usual is really safe. So people should not turn away from eating chicken because of the scare of bird flu. As long as the flock has been free from the disease and there is no other confirmation of the disease around, people should take all the precautions, measures of cooking chicken in hygienic conditions. No extra care is really needed, just normal usual cooking until it is really cooked very well, it is no problem at all. Laiser What else Dr Wambura would you like to tell the listeners, who are listening to this programme right now? Wambura I think it is very important to be aware that this disease is normally a bird disease or chicken disease. So we have to be aware of deaths, any suspicions of the disease you have to report it to the authorities, veterinary inspectors and veterinary officers or people who are concerned with welfare of people in all levels from the villages up to the nation, we have to be aware. In those countries where the disease has been reported, normally children are really affected because they play around with dead chickens and they are infected. So we should be really advising children once they see any dead birds or any suspicion of sick birds, they should not really touch them and we should inform the authorities rather than taking for granted that this is a normal death. So any suspicion should be reported and the people should not worry so much about the disease. The only thing you should take precautious measures when you handle chickens in your normal flock, make sure you wash your hands and take precautious measures of whole hygiene. End of track.