Meat from a chicken that has ascites (also known as water belly and dropsy) can still be eaten, however, it is important to take safety precautions when handling and cooking raw poultry products.
How To Safely Handle Poultry
Properly handling poultry is important for ensuring food safety and preventing the spread of food-borne illnesses. Poultry can be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause serious health issues if not handled correctly.
It’s critical to remember a few key steps when shopping for, preparing, cooking, and storing poultry in order to keep your family safe:
- When shopping for poultry, make sure to select it last after all other groceries have been collected.
- Place the raw bird into a plastic bag to prevent any juices from dripping onto other items in your grocery cart or bag.
- Once at home, store it immediately in the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you plan to cook it.
- When preparing raw poultry, wash cutting boards and utensils with soap and hot water after each use as they can easily transmit microorganisms from one item to another.
How To Safely Cook Poultry
Here are a few steps you can take to cook poultry without risking contamination:
- Start by properly thawing frozen birds in a refrigerator or an insulated cooler with cold water. Never defrost at room temperature since rapid bacterial growth can occur during this process.
- When ready to cook, use a food thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the poultry has reached 165° Fahrenheit throughout; otherwise microorganisms may still be present and can cause harm if consumed.
- Additionally, never cross-contaminate raw poultry with other ingredients by using separate cutting boards and utensils for each task in order to prevent any risk of contamination.