Never wash raw chicken before cooking it. Here’s why (and do this instead)
An overwhelming 90% of people wash raw chicken before cooking it. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
Raw chicken contains harmful bacteria , particularly Campylobacter and Salmonella , two of the main culprits in many food poisonings . So it seems like it makes sense to wash raw chicken before cooking, right? Incorrect.
Washing raw chicken before cooking actually helps spread harmful bacteria on the surface of the meat to other places, like the sink or countertop. Jennifer Quinlan, a researcher at Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA ), participated in a research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture on this very topic. Quinlan said her research shows that as many as 90 percent of the people in her survey said they wash their poultry raw, especially since many recipes call for people to rinse their meat and then dry it. Quinlan stated:
You don’t get rid of bacteria, it doesn’t kill bacteria. However, there is a strong possibility that these bacteria will be sprayed by what is known as aerosolization. «
In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture launched the Food Safe Families campaign that emphasizes that people need to take the following steps:
- Clean . Wash hands and surfaces frequently.
- Separate . Do not allow raw poultry or its juices to touch other foods.
- Cook . Cook the chicken to the proper minimum internal temperature of 73ºC, measured with a food thermometer.
- Cool down Poultry must be put in the refrigerator quickly.
Drexel University also launched a similar campaign called Don’t Wash Your Chicken
Which also aims to break this bad habit in the kitchen, and for good reason. Eating food contaminated with these two strains of bacteria can make a person sick. Sometimes even seriously.
People who eat salmonella-contaminated food may develop symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Most people who get sick from salmonella recover within a few days, but others can develop more serious cases that can even lead to death.
Campylobacter bacteria also cause diarrhea in people who eat food contaminated with it. However, this bacteria can make people sick for up to 10 days and can cause extreme abdominal pain. Some long-term effects of Campylobacter exposure have been reported, including arthritis and Guillan-Barre syndrome, which causes muscle weakness and affects the nervous system.
The side effects of washing raw chicken are not only not worth it, Quinlan adds:
Some think they are cleaning germs. Some just want to stop feeling like they’re dirty. There are several reasons, and among them that they simply feel they have to… «
Another food safety tip to remember. Be sure to store cooked chicken in a closed container in a refrigerator or else it can become contaminated if it sits outside too long.
Please SHARE this important tip with your family and friends. Thanks!