The accelerated global demand for chicken meat has projected extensive opportunities in the research and development of poultry industry, thereby improving global food security and resulting in the increase in production of broiler and layer chicken. Consequently, poultry meat consumption continues to rise at the pace of greater than 14.2 kg per capita per year (Meat Consumption Indicator, 2017). As raw meat is prone to massive bacterial attacks, therefore ensuring good handling and health safety is the dire need of this age. Significant strategies have been adopted for upgrading the standard of the poultry industry, which have resulted in the improved health status, feed efficiency, growth rate, shelf-life and processing of chicken meat.

Raw chicken is the potent causing agent of salmonellosis, botulism, listeriosis, campylobacteriosis and many other diseases. It is a vector of many harmful bacteria i.e., E. coli, Shigella, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, and Listeria species etc. Thus, different measures have been introduced in the market to enhance the microbial quality of poultry-based products. Some common mistakes associated with the handling of raw chicken are listed as under:

Cross-contamination

Uncooked and ready-to-eat foods should be placed separately since direct contact with raw chicken may result in bacterial contamination. Therefore, the sanitization of cookware and gadgets involved in handling raw chicken is necessary to ensure food safety. Cutting boards, tongs, utensils and other equipment used in processing raw chicken should not be reused until washed and dried properly.

Misjudged organoleptic evaluation and postmortem inspection

Organoleptic evaluation comprises of examination of sensory features such as color, odor, texture, elasticity, surface temperature, and overall appearance. Though it partially indicates the presence of inhabitant bacteria, it significantly highlights the overall quality of raw chicken because the changes in sensory parameters are usually marked by degradation and spoilage in case of mishandling. Furthermore, postmortem inspection of chicken at every processing step is crucial for the screening of meat to comply with the standards.

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