Health Advice



Make sure your chicken is cooked

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In "Stand by Me," Ace Merrill (Kiefer Sutherland) is a gang leader who plays a dangerous game of chicken with a truck that swerves out of the way at the last minute. Now, you might not think cooking chicken for dinner tonight is as dangerous as that idiotic "game," but researchers looked at the culinary habits of people in five European countries and found they're endangering their health by playing chicken with chicken! It seems they're undercooking the poultry and at risk for foodborne illnesses. We bet the same mistakes are being made here.

If you check for doneness by looking at the inner color of the meat (50% of folks do) that's not going to protect you from getting sick. It's also a mistake to examine the color of the juices or the texture of the meat. None of those methods are reliable indicators that pathogens have been KO'd. The consequences: Undercooked chicken can deliver salmonella and campylobacter bacteria, causing abdominal pain, chills, diarrhea, fever, vomiting and bloody stools. From all sources, those microbes sicken 2.85 million folks annually in the U.S.

Your best bet is to allow the chicken to reach room temperature before cooking. Then use a fast-response meat thermometer to gauge doneness. Be aware, most bacteria are on the surface of the chicken, so make sure the inner and outside temperature reaches a germ-killing 165 F. Also, be sure to clean your kitchen thoroughly after handling raw meat to prevent the transfer of bacteria to countertops, utensils or other foods.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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