Thursday, November 11, 2010

Myth: Chitterlings (chitlins) don’t require any special food preparation.

Answer: Busted!

Raw chitterlings may contain bacteria such as Salmonella or Yersinia. Unlike most bacteria, Yersinia survives cold temperatures and can grow inside the refrigerator. Therefore, wrap the bucket in plastic when thawing chitterlings in the refrigerator.

Remember, even chitterlings sold as "pre-cleaned" need more rinsing and cleaning at home before they are cooked. Put raw uncleaned chitterlings directly from the container into boiling water for five minutes to kill germs. Boiling makes cleaning easier and faster and reduces the fat content without changing the taste. During the boiling process, use soap and hot water to clean the sink and any places touched by raw chitterlings or their juice. Once the five minutes are complete, clean the chitterlings and follow with complete cooking.

While the chitterlings are cooking, clean everything in the kitchen that raw chitterlings may have touched. Use 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water to kill germs.

Additional nutrition and health information can be found at:

Contributor: Maude Harris, Nutrition/Health Education Specialist,, (573) 545-3516

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