Experts have reached a consensus after a Twitter debate on whether it is safe to consume raw chicken in chicken sashimi or not, and the answer is not. Chicken sashimi, a delicacy in the United States, is quite commonplace in Japan.
Americans enjoy chicken sashimi especially when they are on a Paleo diet. Nevertheless, consuming raw chicken can expose consumers to harmful bacteria such as campylobacter or salmonella.
Campylobacter accounts for 60 percent of food poisoning instances in the Land of the Rising Sun, according to an official report. The country’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare recommended restaurants to cook their chicken, but because selling raw meat has not been outlawed, few restaurants comply. Yakitori bars sell chicken sashimi like there’s no tomorrow despite the risks.
Thoroughly Cook Your Chicken!
Cornell University’s Dr. Randy W. Worobo warned that eating raw or undercooked chicken should be done “under no circumstance.” The meat in chicken sashimi is boiled or seared for about 10 seconds which is not long enough to kill all bacteria. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of more than 165 degrees F for cooked meat.
What’s more, chicken is often contaminated with Salmonella regardless of how fresh the meat may be. Raw poultry can be full of bacteria both inside and outside. If the chicken is cooked for only 10 seconds, the harmful bacteria can survive.
Only by fully cooking it, one can make sure all the pathogens are dead. Worobo also warns of post-cooking contamination. He recommends using clean kitchen utensils when de-boning the cooked chicken since knives and cutting boards used to prepare the raw product can still carry live bacteria.
Moreover, if the chicken was grown ecologically or by local farmers, that doesn’t guarantee that there is no salmonella in it.
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