May 16, 2012

What is up with washing chicken?

Ok, this has bothered me for a while. I keep seeing recipes that tell people to "wash the chicken first" on the list of steps. My first question is... why? Why should I "wash my chicken" and why does it help? I personally have never washed chicken for one reason: washing chicken contaminates your sink. You know how you have to wash veggies, fruits, pots and pans, and many other things in the kitchen sink? Well, if you washed chicken in it, cross contamination can happen. Yuck! Another thing to mention... it doesn't clean your chicken. Whatever germs are on your chicken will be either killed when cooked or they can't be just rinsed off. Save yourself the hassle and just don't do it!

I have a few articles to share and some quotes from them that I think prove my point.

"Rinsing your chicken is an ideal way to spew nasty pathogens all over your sink and the surrounding area. Rinsing never did get rid of pathogens anyway."

" An FSA spokeswoman said: ''Washing raw poultry is a common kitchen mistake, and it simply isn't necessary. "

"chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: ''It shouldn't be up to consumers to clean up problems made earlier in the food chain, but if you're planning on cooking a whole chicken be aware that if it's infected washing it actually increases the risk of food poisoning.
'Stay safe by cutting out the cleaning and cooking it through thoroughly.' "

Food Safety and Inspection Services says on their website ( :
"Rinsing or Soaking Chicken
Washing raw poultry before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. This is called cross-contamination. Rinsing or soaking chicken does not destroy bacteria. Any bacteria that might be present on fresh chicken are destroyed only by cooking."

My advice... stop washing that chicken! Cook it to a proper temperature and you will be fine. I mean, do you really want chicken juice spewed a 3 foot radius from your kitchen sink? No? Me neither... 

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