In response to #KhabarLive post, FSSAI advised in a note to people who handle live poultry to use masks, PPE and gloves to avoid direct contact with raw meat.

As the country grapples with the bird flu outbreak, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said that properly-prepared and cooked poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat.

In a guidance note on safe practices for handling, processing and consumption of poultry meat and eggs during bird flu outbreak, it has advised consumers to not consume half-boiled eggs or under-cooked chicken.

Safety precautions
The food safety authority has advised consumers to ensure they procure chicken and eggs from genuine and trusted sources and not to purchase eggs or poultry meat from avian-influenza infected areas. It has also advised not to have direct contact with raw meat and not to keep raw meat in the open.

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Outlining various hygiene practices for consumers , the advisory stated that chicken and eggs should not be washed in running water to avoid spread of droplets contaminating the surrounding areas. It has also advised consumers to sanitise and disinfect chopping boards, knives, utensils and surfaces that come in contact with raw meat and different utensils for raw and cooked meat products should be used.

The guidance note states that eggs should be properly cooked before consumption during the course of the avian flu outbreak. It is also advised not to use raw or soft-boiled eggs in food preparations.

“Raw poultry and poultry products should never be allowed to come in contact with cooked food items or the food items that are eaten raw. Do not handle both raw and cooked foods without washing your hands in between. Wash hands with good quality soap and water for 20-30 seconds before and after cooking,” the guidance note added.

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For retail meat shops
Outlining hygiene practices for retail meat shops, the guidance note advises frequent washing and disinfection of surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with raw meat and knives and cutting board should be sanitized during cutting or slaughtering of two poultry birds. “Do not bring any live or slaughtered/dead poultry birds at retail shop from the avian influenza outbreak areas and do not allow it to enter in the food chain,” FSSAI said in its guidance note.

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“One should avoid going to open markets that sell poultry in the affected area as they are the focal point of the spread,” it said.

It has advised people who handle live poultry to take special precautions and use masks, PPE and gloves to avoid direct contact with raw meat besides frequent hand washing. “People who work closely with live infected poultry are at high risk of getting the infection. The cases of virus spread in humans have also been linked to slaughter of infected birds as well as handling of dead birds, before cooking.

Human-to-human transmission of the avian influenza virus is very rare unless one works in proximity with the infected birds,” the guidance note said. #KhabarLive #hydnews