Meat and poultry safety

How to Handle Poultry Safely


All meat and poultry require careful handling. Keep the following in mind:

  • Refer to the best-before dates on packages and buy the freshest meat and poultry you can.
  • Cook or freeze fresh ground meat within 24 hours of purchase and all other meat within 3 days unless there is a best-before date.
  • Thaw frozen meat and poultry in the refrigerator and cook once thawed.
  • If meat and poultry are frozen and thawed, do not refreeze. It may be frozen again once it is cooked.
  • Immediately dispose of all wrappings from meat and poultry in the garbage. •
  • Clean all kitchen surfaces that may have been in contact with meat using hot soapy water; rinse and then sanitize using sanitizing spray or wipes, or bleach and water.
  • Thoroughly cook all ground meat and poultry to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. To scramble fry, cook for more 5 minutes after you no longer see any pink colour.
  • Never partially cook meat or poultry to finish cooking later.
  • Don't guess at the doneness of cooked burgers. Instead, check the internal temperature of a burger by inserting an instant-read meat thermometer horizontally into the centre of the burger. The thermometer should read at least 160°F (71°C) for beef, pork, lamb and veal and 165°F for poultry.
  • Also use a thermometer to check temperatures of meat cuts. Cook pork to 160˚F and beef, lamb and veal to 145˚F (medium-rare), 160˚F (medium), or 170˚F (well done). Cook poultry pieces to 165°F.
  • All mechanically tenderized meat cuts must be cooked well done for optimum safety.
  • Don’t re-contaminate cooked meat or poultry. Always use clean utensils to move meat and poultry from the cooking pan or barbecue and place cooked items on a clean plate.