One type of poultry that is popular for consumption by Indonesian people is broiler chicken. Chicken which has the Latin name Gallus gallus domesticus is often bred to make use of its meat to meet the demand for chicken meat on the market. However, is there any danger to consuming broiler chickens for health?
Unlike other types of chicken, broiler chickens can usually be slaughtered when aged around 40 days (6 weeks). To get the ideal body weight, the intake of broiler chicken food should be focused on providing protein nutrition combined with an artificial lighting system. Even some chicken farmers use synthetic hormones to stimulate growth and increase body weight of broilers.
In this way, broiler chickens will have a high appetite, thus accelerating the process of fattening the body. However, behind the abundant meat, there is the danger of broiler chicken that you should not underestimate.
Danger of Broiler Chickens for Health
Chickens on the market, including broilers, may contain bacteria that can cause disease. A study of the feasibility of chicken meat on the market found at least six types of bacteria in broiler chickens, namely Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Here are the dangers of broiler chickens that have been contaminated with bacteria:
Salmonella bacterial infection occurs in the human intestine. Some of these types of bacteria can cause typhoid fever. Usually, transmission of this disease occurs when someone consumes contaminated food or water, including contaminated broiler chicken meat.
Campylobacter bacterial infection occurs in the digestive tract. These bacteria can enter the human body through contaminated food, such as chicken and beef that are not processed properly. A person infected with Campylobacter will experience symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
E. coli bacteria is one of the bacteria that can cause a person to experience food poisoning. The spread of E. coli bacteria is usually through the consumption of contaminated food, including chicken.
Until now, broiler farms have used antibiotic drugs to reduce contamination of these bacteria. However, some bacteria found in broiler chicken meat are immune to antibiotics.
Given the potential of broiler chickens that are harmful to human health, the use of antibiotics in broiler chickens has begun to be restricted, even banned in certain countries. However, administering vaccines to animals is still permissible as long as they are prescribed by a veterinarian. In addition, improving the quality of the cage both in terms of cleanliness must also be done to minimize the spread of bacteria.
In addition to the risk of bacterial contamination, the danger of broilers if consumed too often is also caused by the content of cholesterol and saturated fat in it, especially on the chicken skin. To work around this, consume lean chicken meat, and choose healthier ways to cook such as boiling, steaming, baking without oil, or cooking it into soup.
Do This When You Want to Eat Chicken Meat
To prevent the danger of broiler chickens due to contamination, the following actions can be taken when processing chicken meat:
- Make sure you wash your hands with soap when trying to process meat.
- Separate meat with other food ingredients, such as vegetables, to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Use different kitchen utensils to process chicken meat and other food ingredients.
- Avoid washing raw chicken meat before cooking, because this can also spread bacteria into the chicken.
- Make sure the broiler chicken meat is cooked with a temperature of at least 74 degrees Celsius.
- If you want to store raw broiler chicken meat, then make sure to store it in the freezer.
- Make sure the dishes that serve the cooked chicken are different from the dishes for raw chicken, except if the dishes have been washed first.
Considering the number of dishes using broiler chicken, the meat processing guidelines above must be considered. This aims to avoid the dangers of broiler chickens to the health of all family members at home.