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Indian cooking style keeps avian flu at bay

Friday, 2 November 2012 - 4:09pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

Eating an affected bird would not necessarily result in avian flu, if it is cooked the Indian-style.

Indian-style of cooking is considered the best to ward of aviation influenza even if you are by chance consuming an virus-affected bird, says an expert.

“The Indian-style of cooking is safe. Generally chicken is pressure cooked or cooked on a high flame. This kills any possible germs. Earlier, instances of human being getting affected with avian flu was reported in south east Asian countries, where raw or half cooked meat is used for salads,” says Dr Hemanth HR, consultant, critical care medicine, BGS Global Hospital.

Cooking meat in India generally features heating at temperatures well above the prescribed 70 degrees Celsius to ward off avian influenza.
One of the safety guidelines to prevent bird flu among humans is

about safe consumption of eggs and chicken even if they may be affected. Raw eggs must be avoided and eggs must be consumed only after ensuring that white and yellow of the egg is hard. This means it should not be soft or viscous as that allows the virus to enter the body and infect a person. According to NECC figures, Bangalore consumes up to 48 lakh eggs daily while its is 1.25 crore eggs all over the state.

The guidelines states that chicken should be heated at above 70 degrees Celsius (the temperature above which the H5N1 virus that causes avian influenza cannot survive) for a sustained period, and should not be consumed in a semi-cooked or raw state.
The Indian-style cooking involves meat cooked in gravy which is either heated on a high flame or pressure cooked — both at temperatures well above the prescribed limit for a considerable period of time.  

This should allays fears among people about chicken/egg consumption and encourage them not to stop consuming chicken, ducks, or emus. Eating an affected bird would not necessarily result in avian flu, if it is cooked the Indian-style.

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