Friday, June 27, 2008

Get Ready Mailbag

Welcome to another installment of the Get Ready Mailbag, where we take time to answer questions sent our way by readers like you. Have a question you want answered? Send an e-mail to today!

Q. Can I get bird flu from eating chicken or eggs?

A. No, not as long as they are handled correctly.

Bird flu -- also referred to as avian flu or H5N1 -- is an important health issue. Although no immediate threat of a bird flu pandemic exists in the United States, it is definitely important to plan ahead so you and your family are prepared. However, eating chicken and eggs aren’t something to worry about.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that as long as poultry and eggs are properly handled and cooked, they're still safe to eat. You can't catch bird flu if your food is cooked at a high enough temperature. To make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through, use a meat thermometer and ensure that the inside of your chicken is at least 165° F throughout.

And although it may be tempting to lick the bowl while baking, never eat raw eggs or food with raw egg ingredients like cookie dough or cake batter. Instead, be sure to thoroughly cook all dishes with raw eggs in them before eating them.

If you follow these simple precautions, you can have your poultry and eggs and eat them too!

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