We all know that when it comes to buying chicken, it’s not as straightforward as walking into a meat retailer and picking the first package you see. To buy chicken is not as simple as it sounds because of health concerns like salmonella. This guide will show you how to buy chicken safely.
What kind of chicken do you want to buy?
Are you looking for fresh, raw chicken, precooked chicken or frozen chicken? Next time you’re buying chicken, keep these tips in mind to make sure your meat retailer handles chicken safely:
- You can buy chicken raw either in pieces, or the whole bird. You should keep raw chicken refrigerated if you intend to use it soon or freeze it until you are ready to cook it.
- Make sure that you only buy chicken that is raw from the refrigerated area of your meat supplier. If not kept cold, it will be a riddled with salmonella and other poultry-borne bacteria. Your meat retailer must always store raw chicken stored at or below 4°C (39°F) .
- Look at the fat carefully on the fresh chicken. Check the colour of the fat, too. It should be a white to deep yellow colour and definitely not grey.
- This chicken should only be on a shop’s shelves for two to three days before being thrown out.
- It’s great to buy chicken precooked for option for a convenient meal at home, as there is no cooking involved on your end. That said, it is important to check that the bird was properly stored and cooked before buying the chicken.
- You should find cooked chickens stored in an oven-like area, and you should consume it as soon as possible.
- Ideally, cooked chicken should be over 60°C (140°F). You likely won’t be able to check this with a thermometer, but you should be able to check the temperature by touch. It should feel very hot, and if it’s not, definitely don’t buy the chicken.
- Cooked chicken should be safely stored in a plastic bag. It should at a consistent temperature, not fluctuating, around 60°C (140°F) or higher.
- You can ask your meat supplier about what temperature the chicken is resting at, as well as how they cooked it.
- A meat retailer should only keep cooked chicken for a day. You should buy this chicken early in the day to get the freshest chicken possible.
- Frozen chicken is great for future use. It can come as the whole bird, pieces or even as a processed product like chicken nuggets.
- Only ever buy frozen chicken directly from the freezer section of your meat supplier. Make sure that you are only buying a chicken that is completely frozen and hard to the touch. Your meat retailer must always store frozen chicken below 4°C (39°F) .
- Check the chicken’s packaging for the use by date – it can be stored frozen right up until that date.
Shopping tips for buying chicken
- Packaging: There should be no cracks, dents or tears in the packaging when you are buying chicken. Alert your meat retailer if you find anything wrong with the packaging so that it can be removed from the store. Nothing you buy should ever be leaking any kind of liquid or juices.
- Be careful of chicken on sale: If chicken is on sale, be sure that it is not at the end of or part it’s use by date.
- Leave buying chicken until last: Temperature is so important when it comes to poultry safety. Prevent any bacteria from growing and multiplying buy leaving it until the very end of your list.
- Store your chicken correctly as soon as possible: As soon as you get home from your meat retailer, put your chicken in the fridge. If buying frozen, be sure to put it in the freezer immediately. Chicken cannot be refrozen once defrosted.
Tip Top Meat – Your Top Choice in Meat Suppliers
Tip Top Meat sources their chicken from the best possible feed lots and abattoirs. A leading online meat supplier, you can be sure that your chicken is being safely stored until it’s delivered. Tip Top Meat is driven to only supply top quality meats from reputable suppliers.
A Certified Meat Supplier You Can Trust
Tip Top Meat has certified approval from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. This means that they follow current requirements for exports to all African countries. You can be sure that you will receive an ethical, compliant, high quality product. With a great reputation spanning over 30 years, Tip Top Meat should be your preferred meat supplier. When it comes to buying chicken, Tip Top Meat is the place to go.