Reasons to Avoid Washing Chicken

Reasons to Avoid Washing Chicken

We’ve all come across videos on social media showing home cooks rinsing chicken in the sink, seen recipes in cookbooks recommending this step, and even heard renowned chef Julia Child advocate for washing poultry. However, we have an important message: despite the belief that it’s a safety measure against harmful bacteria, avoid washing chicken can spread them.

Each year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues a strong reminder against washing poultry. According to them, not only is it unnecessary, but it can also do more harm than good.

Why Washing Chicken Is Risky?

Imagine this: you rinse your chicken under the tap, thinking you’re getting rid of germs. But instead, that strong stream of water acts like a tiny trampoline, flinging small drops containing harmful bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter all over your sink, counters, and even onto you.

Research indicates that this splatter can travel up to 3 feet, potentially contaminating nearby food and surfaces.

To put it simply, if you wash raw chicken, you’re spreading germs around your kitchen.

Can Washing Raw Chicken Remove Germs?

The good news is there’s no need to wash your chicken before cooking to kill germs. Cooking your chicken thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F is the only sure way to ensure it’s safe to eat. So, forget about washing it before cooking and focus on getting that perfect golden sear. Nowadays, chickens sold in stores go through strict cleaning processes before reaching your kitchen. Washing it at home just adds an extra step that could increase the risk of spreading germs.

If you’re concerned about cleanliness, Argyris K. Magoulas, a USDA expert, suggests a safer way to “wash” your chicken. To remove excess sodium (commonly added to preserve meat and remove blood), it’s fine to soak it in water (some people add a little vinegar and/or lemon juice) without splashing, then refrigerate for no more than two hours before cooking.

Tips for Handling Raw Chicken Safely

Just because you don’t have to avoid washing chicken doesn’t mean you can ignore food safety. Here’s how to handle raw chicken safely:

Thaw properly: Defrost frozen chicken in the fridge or under cold water, not at room temperature. Check our range of airtight containers for safe thawing.

By following these steps, you can enjoy your favorite chicken dishes without worrying about cross-contamination. Let’s keep food safety in mind to enjoy healthy meals.

Remember, maintaining food safety practices in your kitchen is essential for the health of you and your loved ones. By understanding the risks of washing chicken and following proper handling procedures, you can enjoy delicious meals without worry. Let’s prioritize food safety to create a healthier and happier dining experience.

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