Chicken is one of those proteins that can carry the virus salmonella. Salmonella is a food borne illness that can be passed along from raw proteins like chicken and eggs to name a couple. That is why you have to be very careful in the way in which you store, handle and cook chicken.
If you don't wash your hands properly after handling chicken or sanitize counter tops or cutting boards you take the risk of what is called cross-contamination. You run the risk of cross contaminating other foods which is why you should NEVER cut vegetables let's say on the same cutting board that you just cut chicken on.
I highly recommend you have one board dedicated to cutting raw proteins and another for chopping vegetables and fruits.
- When you handle chicken be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
- Be sure to sanitize any work surface or sink that the raw chicken has come in contact with.
- Rinse and actually rub your chicken well with COLD water.
- When storing chicken in the refrigerator - be sure it is properly contained and NEVER store raw chicken over cooked foods or other raw foods.
- The proper temperature for cooking chicken or any other poultry is 165 degrees F. When you use an instant read thermometer, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and in far enough to get an accurate reading.
- Defrost poultry in the refrigerator or in COLD water.
Remember that in the kitchen it is safety first.