Bird Flu Outbreak: Govt Issues 10-Point Guide to Eating Eggs, Chicken Safely

Srinagar: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has issued a list of do’s and don’ts for eating eggs and chicken. This comes after several states including Delhi and Mumbai confirmed the outbreak of avian influenza in crows, migratory/wild birds and even poultry birds.

Poultry sales have gone down sharply due to the bird flu outbreak and many people are avoiding eating chicken or eggs at all.

However, it is said to be okay to eat chicken meat or eggs if they are cooked properly. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also said that proper cooking inactivates the virus present inside meat and eggs.

This 10-point guide aims to create awareness among regular consumers of eggs and poultry. The FSSAI said that meat and eggs from the areas affected with the H5N8 bird flu outbreak in poultry should not be consumed raw or even partially cooked.

Temperature is key. The virus is destroyed at 70 C if held for about three seconds, the document by FSSAI noted. Properly cooking meat or eggs to achieve a temperature of 74 degrees Celsius in eggs or all parts of meat will most likely inactivate the virus.

Here are the 10 precautionary measures released by FSSAI on its official website:

  • Do not eat half-boiled eggs
  • Do not eat undercooked chicken
  • Avoid direct contact with birds in the infected areas
  • Avoid touching dead birds with bare hands
  • Do not keep raw meat in open
  • No direct contact with raw meat
  • Use a mask and gloves at the time of handling raw chicken
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Maintain the cleanliness of surroundings
  • Eat chicken, eggs and their products after cooking. (PTK)