Stop washing raw chicken: experts warn of risks

Bylim Olena

Stop washing raw chicken: experts warn of risks
Cooked chicken. Source: Karolina Grabowska/pexels.com

Some people believe that you should wash raw chicken meat in water before cooking to remove harmful bacteria that may be on the meat. However, health authorities say that this practice does nothing and can actually increase the risk of food poisoning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not washing chicken before cooking. Darin Detwiler, PhD, a professor of food policy at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies, explained to Health that washing chicken "spreads pathogens all over your sink, around the faucet, handle, and down the sides."

Previous: Do you need to wash meat before every cooking

In an observational study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, participants were asked to prepare raw poultry and garden salad. The researchers found that 60% of those who chose to wash the chicken had bacteria in the sink. And 26% of those who washed their poultry resulted in cross-contamination: bacteria from the poultry got on their salad.

How to cook chicken properly

When cooking, raw chicken should be stored on a separate cutting board so that it does not come into contact with other foods. Any kitchen utensils that come into contact with raw chicken should be washed with hot water and soap.

If you do want to wash the chicken, you should do so as safely as possible. This means gently pouring water over the chicken to reduce the risk of splashing, washing the sink and surrounding areas immediately afterwards, as well as washing your hands properly.

Pork, beef, and veal can also contain harmful bacteria, so it is important to take the same precautions when cooking these foods.

Earlier, experts explained why meat should be rinsed with vinegar before cooking.

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