You Asked It!

Tag: Chicken

Improving Chicken Meat Quality

Just a reminder! Always use a thermometer to check doneness of all poultry. Look for 165°F.

Have you had a piece of chicken breast meat that was tough and chewy? This is a disorder called wooden breast syndrome that occurs in broiler chickens. The pectoral muscles, or breast meat, becomes tough and chewy. This syndrome can cause an economic toll on poultry producers.

When you look at a piece of chicken breast meat, you cannot see the problem. But, once the meat is cooked, the defect is noticeable. Researchers at the University of Delaware have possibly discovered the reason and a solution to reduce the problem.

In broilers, if they abnormally metabolize fat in the pectoral muscles, the syndrome develops. Ideally, the broilers should be metabolizing glucose instead of lipids. Therefore, the broiler has a higher amount of free radicals that damage pectoral muscles. By testing their blood for the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, they can identify the problem early for better management.

This is step forward in solving a difficult issue for poultry producers. Learn more at

Cook Chicken Liver Like it’s Chicken!

Numerous outbreaks of illness associated with chicken liver have occurred. Most of these outbreaks were caused by the bacteria Campylobacter and Salmonella and were linked to chicken liver dishes that were:

  • Pâté or a similar blended dish (e.g. mousse, spread, or butter);
  • Inadequately cooked; and
  • Prepared in a restaurant or other foodservice setting.

Inadequately cooked chicken liver is risky because pathogens can exist both on the external surface of the liver and in its internal parts. Chicken liver dishes should be consumed only after being cooked throughout to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C). Additionally, chicken liver should be handled carefully to prevent cross-contamination.


Is Your Chicken Chewy?

If you’ve had a tough, chewy chicken breast, it may not be how you cooked it. That toughness could be from a condition called “woody breast.”

This condition has unknown causes. It makes the meat tough to cut or chew; it resists uptake of marinade; and has a high cook loss of moisture.

Speculation is that this condition is related to fast growing chicken broilers. While unpleasant to eat tough chicken, there are no food safety risks with this condition.

Source: Poultry Science, Poultry Science 2016