Kashmir Indepth

Bird flu: Avoid half-boiled eggs, undercooked chicken, says govt

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has urged people and food businesses “not to panic” and ensure proper handling and cooking of poultry meat and eggs for safe consumption. FSSAI has suggested precautions to be taken at retail meat shops and by consumers and those handling or processing poultry meat. The regulator also said the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated it is safe to eat poultry meat and eggs and that there is no epidemiological data to suggest the disease can be transmitted to humans through cooked food.

The Centre on Saturday said bird flu in poultry has been confirmed so far in nine states of Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Avian influenza has been confirmed in 12 states for crow/migratory/wild birds. “Till January 23, 2021, outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird flu) have been confirmed in nine states (Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab) for poultry birds,” the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying said in a statement.

Bird flu has been confirmed in 12 states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab for crow/migratory/wild birds.

Here are the guidelines issued by FSSAI for eating and handling poultry, meat and eggs:

Meat and eggs from areas with outbreaks in poultry should not be eaten raw or partially cooked.

People should not eat half-boiled eggs and undercooked chicken. They should not keep raw meat in open and not have direct contact with raw meat.

People should not have direct contact with birds in the infected areas, avoid touching dead birds with bare hands and use mask and gloves while handling raw chicken.

People should not buy eggs or poultry meat sourced from bird flu-infected areas and avoid going to open markets that sell poultry in infected areas.

Retail shops should not to bring any live or slaughtered or dead poultry birds from the avian influenza outbreak areas and also not allow it to enter into the food chain.

People should use gloves and masks during the handling and preparation of raw poultry or poultry products. They must wash hands and other exposed parts with soap and water before and after handling raw poultry meat.

All surfaces and utensils that have been in contact with the raw meat should be washed and disinfected.

Knives and cutting boards must be cleaned and sanitised between cutting and slaughtering two birds. All the waste generated from retail poultry shops must be properly disposed of. The same chopping board or the same knife that is used for cutting raw poultry meat should be used for any other food item before sanitising it or thoroughly washing it with soap or detergent.

Chicken should not be washed in running water while handling and cooking of poultry meat as it may cause water splashing and spread of droplets contaminating the surroundings.

Contact should be avoided with bird droppings.(Indian Express with agency inputs)

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