why does chicken have to be cooked thoroughly

You can serve almost any protein medium rare. I wouldn't want to eat poultry at that temperature, mind you. Cooking the protein to high temperature is not the only way to cook it safely. The high temperature kills almost all of the bacteria in seconds. But a lower temperature for a longer period of time does just as well. For instance, this chart lists how long it takes to pasteurize (kill the bacteria and other organisms) some common protein. From Pasteurization Time for Meat (Beef, Pork, and Lamb)
(starting at 41`F / 5`C and put in a 131151`F / 5566`C water bath)
55`C 56`C 57`C 58`C 59`C 60`C
Thickness 131`F 133`F 134. 5`F 136. 5`F 138`F 140`F
5 mm 2 hr 1l hr 60 min 45 min 40 min 30 min
10 mm 2 hr 1m hr 1l hr 55 min 45 min 40 min
15 mm 2l hr 1n hr 1m hr 1l hr 60 min 55 min
20 mm 2m hr 2 hr 1n hr 1m hr 1l hr 1l hr
25 mm 2n hr 2l hr 2 hr 1n hr 1m hr 1m hr
30 mm 3 hr 2m hr 2 hr 2 hr 1n hr 1m hr
35 mm 3l hr 2n hr 2l hr 2 hr 2 hr 1n hr
40 mm 3m hr 3 hr 2m hr 2l hr 2l hr 2 hr
45 mm 4 hr 3l hr 3 hr 2n hr 2m hr 2l hr
50 mm 4m hr 3n hr 3l hr 3 hr 2n hr 2m hr
55 mm 5 hr 4l hr 3n hr 3m hr 3 hr 3 hr
60 mm 5l hr 4n hr 4l hr 3n hr 3m hr 3l hr
65 mm 6 hr 5l hr 4n hr 4l hr 4 hr 3n hr
70 mm 6m hr 5n hr 5l hr 4n hr 4l hr 4 hr

61`C 62`C 63`C 64`C 65`C 66`C
Thickness 142`F 143. 5`F 145. 5`F 147`F 149`F 151`F
5 mm 25 min 25 min 18 min 16 min 14 min 13 min
10 mm 35 min 30 min 30 min 25 min 25 min 25 min
15 mm 50 min 45 min 40 min 40 min 35 min 35 min
20 mm 60 min 55 min 55 min 50 min 45 min 45 min
25 mm 1l hr 1l hr 1l hr 60 min 55 min 55 min
30 mm 1m hr 1m hr 1l hr 1l hr 1l hr 1l hr
35 mm 1n hr 1m hr 1m hr 1m hr 1l hr 1l hr
40 mm 1n hr 1n hr 1n hr 1m hr 1m hr 1m hr
45 mm 2l hr 2 hr 2 hr 1n hr 1n hr 1n hr
50 mm 2m hr 2l hr 2l hr 2 hr 2 hr 2 hr
55 mm 2n hr 2n hr 2m hr 2m hr 2l hr 2l hr
60 mm 3 hr 3 hr 2n hr 2n hr 2m hr 2m hr
65 mm 3m hr 3l hr 3l hr 3 hr 3 hr 2n hr
70 mm 3n hr 3n hr 3m hr 3l hr 3l hr 3l hr
Table 5. 1: Time required to reduce Listeria by at least a million to one, Salmonella by at least three million to one, and E. coli by at least a hundred thousand to one in thawed meat starting at 41`F (5`C).

I calculated the D- and z-values using linear regression from OBryan et al. (2006), Bolton et al. (2000), and Hansen and KnЕchel (1996): for E. coli I use D554. 87 = 19. 35 min; for Salmonella I use D557. 58 = 13. 18 min; and for Listeria I use D559. 22 = 12. 66 min. For my calculations I used a thermal diffusivity of 1. 1110-7 m2/s, a surface heat transfer coefficient of 95 W/m2-K, and took b=0 up to 30 mm and b=0. 28 above 30 mm (to simulate the heating speed of a 2:3:5 box). For more information on calculating log reductions, see Appendix A. [Note that if the beef is seasoned using a sauce or marinate which will acidify the beef, then the pasteurizing times may need to be doubled to accommodate the increased thermal tolerance of Listeria (Hansen and KnЕchel, 1996). ] There is more of this information available. Look for sous vide cooking times to see the appropriate cooking time for you choice of protein. As all raw meats can carry harmful bacteria on the outside, it is important to cook all meat properly to kill the bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This section advises you on how to handle and cook meat, and how to check that your meat is fully cooked and safe to eat. Which meats must be cooked all the way through? Poultry, pork, rolled joints, burgers, sausages, chicken nuggets, kebabs, kidneys, liver and other types of offal, and any meat or fish that has been minced or skewered.

The reason is that with whole cuts of meat, any harmful bacteria will live on the outside only. But if meat has been minced or chopped up, the bacteria get moved around. How should I cook these meats? Select a temperature that is hot enough to cook the meat, but not so hot that the outside will burn before the inside has had a chance to cook If you are cooking a number of small pieces of meat such as sausages, move them around and turn them regularly so that each piece cooks evenly Temperature and cooking times will vary depending on the type of cut of meat and the method of cooking. All meat should be checked visually to see if it is cooked thoroughly. How do I check these meats are properly cooked? When you pierce the thickest part of the meat with a fork or skewer, the juices should run clear. For a whole chicken or other bird, the thickest part is the leg between the drumstick and the breast Meat changes colour when it is cooked. Make sure there is no pink meat left If you re cooking a very large dish, such as a lasagne, check it in a few places, because some parts of the dish may be less hot than others An alternative to the above checks would be to use a meat thermometer. How to use a meat thermometer? A meat thermometer measures the internal temperature of your cooked meat and poultry, or any casseroles, to assure that a safe temperature has been reached and that harmful bacteria have been destroyed. Poultry and pork products; minced meat or any type of product made from minced meat (e. g. sausages, burgers); and meats which have been rolled or de-boned or composed of reformed meat pieces, must be cooked to a core temperature of at least 70 C for 2 minutes or equivalent (75 C instantaneously i. e. the immediate temperature reading obtained on inserting a temperature probe into the centre of the food).

Whole fish may be cooked to preference, but products made of minced fish (e. g. fish cakes) should always be cooked to a core temperature of at least 70 C for 2 minutes or equivalent (75 C instantaneously). Poultry : Into the inner thigh area near the breast of the chicken or turkey but not touching the bone. If stuffed, stuffing temperature must reach 75 C. Do this near and at the end of the stand time. Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal, Ham, Roasts, Steaks or Chops : Into the center of the thickest part, away from bone, fat and gristle. Minced Meat and Poultry : In the thickest area of ground meat or poultry dishes like meatloaf. The thermometer may be inserted sideways in thin items such as burgers. Casseroles : Into the thickest portion. After each use, wash the stem section of the meat thermometer thoroughly in hot, soapy water. Which meats can be eaten rare? Beef steaks, whole joints of beef, lamb chops, whole joints of lamb. These can be eaten rare in the middle because harmful bacteria can only be on the outside. Vulnerable people, including elderly people, babies and toddlers, pregnant women and people who are unwell, should avoid eating lamb or beef that is rare or pink. How should I cook these meats? When you are cooking steaks, or whole joints of beef or lamb, pink or rare, use a high temperature to seal the meat and kill any bacteria that might be on the outside Is there anything else I should do when handling meat? Make sure to before and after handling raw meat. This prevents the spread of bacteria. Use separate utensils for raw or partially cooked meat and cooked meat. Cooking meat safely (PDF, 250KB)

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