Myths About Poultry

Myths About Poultry

Poultry is defined as any domesticated bird that is raised for food. The Chinese began raising various birds hundreds of years ago and the practice made its way to the Western world.

The varieties of poultry we are most familiar with today are chicken, turkey, duck and cornish game hens.

All poultry is nutritious and versatile, making it a good choice for appetizers, soups, salads and main dishes.

Here are some common misconceptions regarding poultry that everyone should know about.

Myth #1: You should wash raw chicken before cooking it.

Bad idea. In fact, the USDA advises against it. When you wash raw poultry, the pathogens get on your hands and in the sink. Cooking poultry thoroughly deactivates these pathogens, so you should avoid handling raw food as much as possible. If you use a cutting board, sanitize it and the knife properly, and discard the packaging carefully.

Myth #2: Removing chicken skin and fat will help lower my fat intake.

Not really. If you do this, your chicken will be dry and flavorless. Cook your poultry with all its skin and fat, and it's fine to eat some cooked skin. In fact, it can be healthful if it comes from a well-raised chicken.

Myth #3: Yellow chickens have more fat than paler chickens.

Not necessarily. A chicken's pigment comes from the color of its feed. A chicken that eats feed containing xanthophyll will have more yellow hue than one that does not. Either way, chicken skin is not an accurate measure of its fat content, nutritional value, tenderness or flavor.

Myth #4: If the turkey label says "fresh," then it's fresh.

Not always the case. According to the USDA, any poultry stored below 0 degrees Fahrenheit is considered "frozen" and above 26 degrees Fahrenheit is considered "fresh." However, a turkey at this temperature is neither "frozen" nor "fresh."

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