Reheating Chicken – is it Safe?

Reheating Chicken Safe

If you want to reheat roast chicken, it is safe, so long as you stick with a couple of very easy and basic rules.   Reheating chicken is only dangerous if you’re not paying attention, or have a “devil may care” attitude towards food safety in general.  Food safety advice always has to work on the “lowest common denominator” basis, so errs on the side of caution.

Firstly, you need to cool the cooked chicken down as quickly as you can.  Certainly it should be in your fridge within an hour of it having been served.   But, putting warm things into the fridge needs to be thought about as you need to think about what else is close to the warm chicken – ideally you should have managed to cool the chicken down quite a lot and put it onto its own shelf, well away from anything else.  When you reheat it, it should be PIPING hot, really cooked thoroughly.

It’s especially important that you don’t store raw and cooked chicken (or any meats) close to each other.  If you do have to have both in your fridge then keep the cooked chicken above the raw chicken.  The reason for this is that bacteria in raw foods can be transferred to cooked meats, so to minimise the potential for this if you keep cooked chicken above raw chicken then the raw chicken can’t spill, drip or splash anywhere near the cooked chicken.

Having said that, it’s a good idea to never put raw chicken in the fridge in any case, but to immediately put it into the freezer once you’ve bought it, which will kill any bacteria the chicken has.

Not all chicken carries the bacteria – when you want to reheat roast chicken you’re really treating it as if it did carry the ‘dangerous bacteria’ – but they don’t all have it.

Now, when actually reheating chicken you need to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly all the way through – turn, stir, mix up the chicken as you’re reheating it.  You can reheat chicken by any method you choose – microwave, oven baking, frying – the method isn’t important, it’s getting it thoroughly heated all the way through that’s important.

When reheating chicken you must ensure that the centre has reached a temperature of 75°C to be safe. As a rule of thumb if you know you’ve reheated the chicken thoroughly and it’s steaming and hot all the way through, that’s fine. For those who want to KNOW their food is safe, or cooked, then a simple food thermometer will be able to tell you the temperature easily – a gadget that’ll last you a lifetime and is great for cooking meat, reheating meat, or even cooking bread and cakes.

How Many Times Can You Reheat Chicken?

The maximum number of times is three.  You can cook chicken, then use some of those leftovers to make another dish, then reheat those leftovers again …. so long as you have been meticulous in your food hygiene and have cooled your food and reheated it so it’s HOT.  Three times should be the maximum times you reheat it.

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Posted: June 27, 2017, 3:45 pm
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