Bird flu: Indian style of cooking safe, says official

He said that the Indian style, with high temperatures and gravy, made consuming chicken absolutely safe.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2006 21:04 IST

An Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) official has said that chicken cooked in the Indian style is absolutely safe.

"If chicken is cooked the Indian way, at high temperatures and in gravy, it is absolutely safe for eating. But steaks, particularly the rare and medium varieties, should be avoided," said ICMR chief NK Ganguly.

"Look at it this way," said Additional Health Secretary Deepak Gupta. "Both Ganguly and I had chicken for lunch this afternoon. It's perfectly safe if cooked properly."

"In any case, only chicken from the affected area poses a hazard," pointed out Upma Chawdhry, Additional Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, Ministryof Agriculture.

"We have quarantined the area and will ensure that no birds are taken out of there," she added.

She was referring to Navapur village of Nandurbar district in Maharashtra, from where India's first confirmed case of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza was reported on Saturday.

Authorities in Maharashtra have begun culling chickens to prevent the deadly virus from spreading, even as other Indian states braced themselves to fight the global disease.

First Published: Feb 19, 2006 21:04 IST