Consumers concerned about the upsurge of food poisoning from salmonella-contaminated chicken need not banish poultry from their diets, according to the California Dietetic Assn.
Whereas salmonella can occur naturally in chickens and other poultry and can spread from one bird to another during processing, proper handling from the meat case to the dinner table will eradicate the bacteria.
Salmonella causes no odor or visible changes that would alert the consumer to its presence. Therefore, the CDA advises these guidelines when purchasing and preparing chicken:
--Do not keep a chicken in the refrigerator for more than three days.
--Rinse raw chicken in cold water.
--If raw chicken is placed on a cutting board or other surface before cooking, do not return the cooked chicken to that surface without washing the area thoroughly with soap and hot water. A dirty surface can reinfect cooked chicken.
--A wooden cutting board should not be used, since its porosity makes it impossible to clean thoroughly.
--Cook chicken thoroughly to kill the bacteria. There should be no pink tinge to the flesh when cooked.