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What foodborne organisms are associated with chicken?

As with any other meat or fish, bacteria can be found on raw or undercooked chicken. The majority multiply rapidly during storage outside refrigeration temperatures and before thorough cooking occurs. Freezing doesn't kill bacteria but thorough cooking of any food to 100 °C destroys them.

Raw poultry must be handled carefully to prevent cross-contamination. This can occur if raw poultry or its juices are brought into contact with cooked food or foods that will be eaten raw such as salad. An example of this is chopping tomatoes on an unwashed cutting board just after cutting raw chicken on it.

Following are some bacteria associated with chicken:

Salmonella may be found in the intestinal tracts of livestock, poultry, dogs, cats and many other animals. Salmonella enteritidis, one of over 2,000 types of Salmonella bacteria, is particularly associated with poultry and shell eggs.

Staphylococcus aureus is present on the skin of chicken; however, it is also carried on human hands, in nasal passages, or in throats. Proper cooking will kill them, but the bacteria are found in foods made by hand, such as chicken salad.

Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most common causes of diarrhoeal illness in humans. Preventing cross-contamination and using proper cooking methods reduces infection by this bacterium.

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