Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and director of the Center for Food Safety, was quoted in a CNN story about how to know when chicken is thoroughly cooked.
According to the article, the popular methods of letting the juices run clear, testing for pinkness or judging the feeling of the meat isn’t as foolproof as most people assume. Researchers found that changes in color and texture aren’t reliable indicators of whether or not a piece of chicken is done.
“The findings of the initial study corroborate multiple investigations that have reported that the majority of consumers continue to rely on sensorial qualities (color, juices, texture) to indicate that the chicken is fully cooked, and only a small number of them use a thermometer,” said Diez-Gonzalez, who works on UGA’s Griffin campus.
Undercooked chicken can harbor harmful pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter, and high temperatures can kill these microbes. According to the World Health Organization, food should be cooked to 158 F (70 C), while the USDA advises that poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F (73.8 C).