After taking raw chicken out of its packaging, a lot of people will wash it off in the kitchen sink before preparing it for cooking. Seems like a perfectly natural thing to do. You probably saw your mom do it million times, and she couldn’t have been wrong, could she? Jennifer Quinlan, a researcher at Drexel University in Philadelphia found that 90% of the people she interviewed for a study about food safety washed raw chicken before cooking it. But it turns out that this is a really bad idea.
If you’re worried about bacteria, washing raw chicken is completely unnecessary. If you cook it adequately, any bacteria that were on it will not survive. Washing the chicken is especially pointless because running water over it doesn’t even clear away the bacteria. Worse, when running water hits the meat, it splatters all over the place, even though it may not be obvious (it “aerosolizes,” to use technical jargon). So all your effort to wash bacteria off the chicken does is spread bacteria to anything nearby: the counter top, food on the counter, handles, cabinets, towels, and, of course, you. It would be ironic, wouldn’t it, if you got a nasty case of food poisoning because you were trying to clean off the chicken?
For some more information, check out the video we’ve posted for you below. Hopefully after seeing all this, you’ll never wash off raw chicken again and just let the heat from cooking work its magic against all those icky bacteria. Remember that you want the internal temperature of poultry (including duck and goose, not just chicken) to reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are you going to modify a few of your kitchen practices now? Let’s hear from you in the Facebook comments. Be sure to like and share: your friends probably have no idea they’re putting themselves and others at risk of an unpleasant case of food poisoning.