Published: Saturday 12 August, 2017

Amid Philippine Bird Flu Outbreak in Pampanga, is it Safe to Eat Chicken Meat?

Sale of chicken meat has drastically gone down after a bird flu outbreak was confirmed in Pampanga. It is the first Philippine bird flu outbreak, ever. Amid all these, Pinoys are asking: How safe is it to eat chicken meat?

bird flu chicken meat safe to eat

Is chicken meat safe to eat amid bird flu outbreak in Pampanga? (Photo: WN/Sweet Radoc)

According to the Department of Health, chicken meat remains SAFE TO EAT as long as it is cooked properly. This means, no raw meat nor half-cooked chicken meat should be consumed. Properly cooked chicken meat should have no pinkish nor bloodied parts anymore.

Avian flu (bird flu) virus is killed when meat is cooked at 70 degrees Celsius, according to the health department.

Besides, bird flu virus can only be acquired by inhalation, says DOH secretary Paulyn Ubial.

“Hindi po nakukuha ang avian flu sa gastrointestinal… so kahit na kumain tayo ng infected na meat hindi po natin makukuha… ito po ay nakukuha sa respiratory, yung nalalanghap po.”

Ubial added that the people most at risk of acquiring bird flu are the chicken farmers, meat processor and other workers exposed to fowl infected with the bird flu virus.

“Ang talagang at risk diyan ay yung poultry handlers at saka yung nagkakatay ng manok. Pero yung kumakain ng manok wala na pong risk yan kasi naluto na yung manok at hindi naman sa pagkain nata-transmit ang virus,” Ubial added.

Meanwhile, the DOH and Malacanang urged the public to remain calm but vigilant in the wake of the Philippines’ first avian flu outbreak. Report any dead chicken, birds, ducks or any kind of fowl immediately to authorities. Likewise, those who have prolonged colds and cough ( lasting more than 3 days) should seek immediate medical attention.

So far, the bird flu outbreak seems to be contained to several areas in San Luis, Pampanga. Nevertheless, more areas have been quarantined as health officials conduct tests. Pampanga has also declared a state of calamity.