Do you wash your raw chicken. Probably. In fact, about 90% of people wash their raw chicken before cooking. Well, guess what? You need to stop doing this. At this point, I know that you’re probably thinking that I’m nuts because “who knows who or what touched that chicken!? Of course you need to wash your chicken first!” But before you come at me with pitchforks, know that I once shared this belief. I always gave my raw chickens a good rinse. Many recipes even call for you to wash your chickens before cooking!
Here’s the thing about washing your chicken: “It does not get rid of the bacteria, it doesn’t kill the bacteria. However, there is a chance that it will spray that bacteria,” explains Jennifer Quinlan, researcher at Drexel University.
The US Department of Agriculture funded a research project to determine if washing your raw chicken before cooking is actually a good idea. What they found was that rinsing the chicken not only doesn’t eliminate the bacteria, it also spreads it all over your kitchen. As you wash your chicken and water splashes and drips all over, the germs end up your sink, on to counter tops, food, towels, and you. Do you enjoy food-related sicknesses? Didn’t think so.
So what to do?
- Wash your hands and surfaces frequently
- Do not let your raw poultry or its juices touch other foods
- Cook your poultry to the safe minimum internal temperature (74°C or 165°F)
The heat required to cook the chicken will kill all the present bacteria.
Watch the video for the full details from Drexel University and please share this story to help spread the word!