Keeping it Safe at Home
Keeping chicken safe from the store to the plate…
Is chicken on your mind for dinner tonight? At Maple Lodge Farms we receive numerous calls from our consumers interested in the safe handling and cooking of chicken in their homes. The following information will answer many of your questions regarding the safest way you can take our fresh chicken from the supermarket to your plate.
In the store:
| || |
- When shopping, select fresh chicken just before checking out at the register. This will make sure that your chicken is kept cold for a longer period of time and not sitting in your cart while you continue to shop.
- If available, place the chicken in disposable plastic bags to contain any potential leakage that could cross-contaminate other grocery items.
When you get home:
| || |
- When you get home from shopping immediately place your chicken in the refrigerator (4ºC). It is best to keep meat on the bottom shelf to minimize the potential to drip. To maximize freshness use product within 1 to 2 days.
- When you get home immediately place your chicken in the freezer (-18ºC). The product will typically stay fresh for 9-12 months.
Note: make sure chicken is properly defrosted prior to use.
Tip: If you are freezing your chicken for more than two months, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or place it inside a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn
| || |
- Defrosting: The safest method to defrost chicken is in the refrigerator. Boneless chicken will usually defrost overnight, however bone-in and whole chicken may take 1-2 days or longer.
- Marinating: Chicken can be marinated for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Planning on basting your chicken with the marinade? In that case reserve a cup of marinade for that purpose before you place your raw chicken into it.
| || |
- Keep Clean: Always use separate utensils and a separate cutting board for your raw chicken and be sure to clean them well with soap and hot water before using again.
- Should I wash my chicken? You do not need to wash chicken. If cooked properly (minimum internal temperature of 165ºF*), all bacteria will be destroyed. Washing chicken can actually allow bacteria to cover your sink and then spread throughout your kitchen.
| || |
- Did you make too much? Leftovers can be stored safely in the refrigerator for approximately 3-4 days. Leftover chicken makes a wonderful filling for sandwiches, or add it to your favourite pasta sauce for a new twist on one of your favourite meals.