Cleanliness in handling poultry meat key to preventing bird flu

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Cleanliness in handling poultry meat key to preventing bird flu

A screenshot of the government's ambassador for new habits adaptation, Reisa Broto Asmoro, making a ‘Health Broadcast’ from Jakarta on Monday (March 6, 2023). (ANTARA/Hreeloita Dharma S/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government's ambassador for the adaptation of new habits, Reisa Broto Asmoro, has underlined that cleanliness in managing poultry meat for consumption is key for preventing stunting in children and bird flu.

"Please remember that the need for animal protein intake is indeed important to prevent stunting, from pregnancy to the 1,000 first days of life (HPK). However, protein is still needed by adults as well," she said during a “Health Broadcast,” which was followed from Jakarta on Monday.

She informed that animal proteins can be obtained at affordable prices, namely by consuming local foods, such as eggs, fish, and meat of poultry such as chicken and ducks. With the discovery of bird flu or H5N1 cases in Indonesia, people must pay more attention to poultry meat, especially if it has been purchased at a market or a supermarket, she said.

When choosing meat, people must choose healthy, clean, and fresh meat, she advised. It is not advisable to buy meat that is too pale and with an excessively pungent aroma. Poultry meat that is too soft or mushy with mucus must also be avoided by people, she added.

If the meat purchased is in the form of packaged food, she urged the community to check the expiration date carefully. At home, the meat must be stored in the refrigerator (freezer) if it is not going to be consumed right away, she said.

"If you want to store it in the refrigerator, you do not need to clean it first. You can wash it right before you cook it," Asmoro added. Washing meat before consumption can help prevent the buildup of bacteria in meat, such as salmonella bacteria. Meat must be cooked at 70 degrees Celsius at least, she said.

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Asmoro also asked people to ensure that cooked meat has no pink parts for safety and health reasons. "For poultry, please cook it thoroughly. Besides to avoid bird flu, we must make sure it is free from other harmful bacteria," she explained.

For cooking equipment, people must ensure that both the knife and cutting board used to process raw poultry meat are kept separate from the equipment used to process fruit and vegetables, she said. "Do not forget to wash your hands with soap after touching meat. Also, differentiate equipment used to process raw meat and fruit and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination from bacteria or viruses in poultry," she added.