Tem­per­a­tures above 70°C can kill avian flu virus, says Hilmi

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The avian flu H5N1 virus in poul­try can be “killed” if cooked at tem­per­a­tures above 70°C.

Deputy Health Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Ya­haya as­sured the pub­lic that con­sump­tion of in­fected chicken was safe pro­vided proper meth­ods of cook­ing were used.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion said poul­try was safe if thor­oughly cooked at tem­per­a­tures above 70°C be­cause the H5N1 virus was de­stroyed at that tem­per­a­ture.

“Here in Malaysia, we don’t eat raw chicken.

“We fry it, broil it or boil it be­fore eat­ing so the is­sue of it be­ing un­safe doesn’t arise.

“You can go to your near­est fast food chain and eat their chicken if it is cooked well,” he said yes­ter­day.

While there were no re­ported cases of the virus in­fect­ing hu­mans, Dr Hilmi said the min­istry would con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion closely.

The H5N1 virus was first de­tected in Kam­pun Pu­lau Tebu, Tun­jong in Ke­lan­tan on March 6 after tis­sue sam­ples were taken from a few dead free-range chicken.

On Wed­nes­day, Ke­lan­tan de­clared a state level dis­as­ter, 10 days after the first bird flu out­break was de­tected.

A to­tal of 23,768 chick­ens were culled and 881 eggs de­stroyed to con­tain the virus.

In Kota Baru, checks at sev­eral fast food out­lets showed busi­ness was run­ning as usual.

A spokesman at one of the out­lets said on the av­er­age, the number of cus­tomers re­mained the same as be­fore.

“The H5N1 virus did not im­pact the busi­ness.

“Many know our fried chicken is well-cooked,” he said.

The spokesman said the pub­lic should not worry as most fran­chise out­lets ad­here to clean­li­ness reg­u­la­tions put up by the au­thor­i­ties.

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