REVEALED: It's a Bad Idea to Wash Chicken Before Cooking

Some people swear by it, while others aren't so sure. However, when it comes down to it, you're truly on the right track.
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Washing raw chicken could make you sick

Key Highlights

  • According to scientists, washing chicken before cooking it may actually raise your risk of foodborne illness.
  • Bacteria can spread from chicken to your hands, kitchen counters, and sinks as you wash it.
  • Using antibacterial soap or antibacterial treatments on chicken will not lessen the risk of infection.
  • According to experts, fully boiling chicken kills microorganisms.

Washing raw chicken before cooking it can raise your chance of contracting campylobacter bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.

The bacteria can be transmitted to hands, work surfaces, clothing, and culinary equipment by splattering water from washing chicken under the tap.

Water droplets have the ability to travel more than 50cm in all directions. To cause food poisoning, only a few campylobacter cells are required.

In the United Kingdom, campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning.

The most common source of campylobacter infection is poultry. According to recent investigations, the bacteria is present in more than half of the chicken marketed in the United Kingdom.

For 2 to 5 days, campylobacter poisoning can produce stomach pain, severe diarrhoea, and sometimes vomiting.

Irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome are all possible side effects.

It's Dangerous to Wash Raw Chicken

Participants in a USDA study washed and rinsed raw chicken for a number of reasons, according to the findings:

  • 30% of people do it to get rid of filth, skin, fat, and blood.
  • 28 percent do it out of habit, and
  • 19 percent do it because a trusted family member did it this way.
  • It is done by 19% of people to get rid of dangerous bacteria and germs.

According to observational research, 60% of those who washed and rinsed their raw poultry had bacteria persisting in their sinks afterwards. What's more startling is that after sanitizing, 14% of the samples still had dangerous bacteria.

Furthermore, a shocking 26% of persons who washed lettuce after washing and rinsing raw poultry transferred the bacteria to their fresh food.

These USDA research reveal that, regardless of the rationale for cleaning and rinsing, such treatments are ineffective and dangerous.

Washing your raw chicken is a waste of time.

Washing raw poultry in the sink raises the danger of cross-contamination in the kitchen, which can lead to foodborne disease. As a result, bacteria that live on the surface of raw chicken can be spilt onto adjacent surfaces such as sinks, counters, kitchenware, and walls when washing raw poultry.

According to the USDA, there is only one technique to get rid of bacteria that cause foodborne illness on chicken. To kill bacteria, roast fowl to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Home cooks can also avoid cross-contamination on other surfaces by keeping their kitchen clean.

As a general rule, this entails sanitizing the sink, countertops, and any other surfaces that may have come into contact with raw chicken juice. Additionally, wet your hands with warm or cold water after coming into contact with raw meat. Then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds (CDC).

Campylobacter poisoning and how to avoid it

  1. Chill raw chicken in a covered container - Raw chicken should be covered and stored at the bottom of the fridge to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods and contaminating them.
  2. Raw chicken should not be washed - Any bacteria present, including campylobacter, will be killed by cooking. Splashing while washing chicken might transmit germs.
  3. Disinfect any utensils that have been used - All tools, chopping boards, and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken should be well washed and cleaned. After handling raw chicken, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water. This aids in the prevention of campylobacter infection.
  4. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked - Before serving, make sure the chicken is heated all the way through. Check for boiling hot meat with no pink meat and clear juices by cutting into the thickest portion of the meat.