Washing raw chicken after purchasing it is a usual ritual that most people do. But do you know that this harmless activity of washing the chicken can be dangerous for your health? Yes, you read that right. Washing raw chicken before cooking can do more harm than good. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that washing chicken before cooking is not only unnecessary but can also spread germs.
Why is washing chicken harmful?
CDC tweeted the same which said, “Don’t wash your raw chicken! Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.”
In another tweet, the US organisation also explained why washing raw chicken must be avoided at all costs. It stated that the germs present on the chicken are killed by cooking and not by washing. So, by running raw chicken under water can only spread the germs and not wash them out.
The tweet said, “We didn’t mean to get you all hot about not washing your chicken! But it’s true: kill germs by cooking chicken thoroughly, not washing it. You shouldn’t wash any poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking. They can all spread germs around your kitchen. Don’t wing food safety!”
Spreader of germs
The CDC says chicken is the meat Americans eat the most. But raw chicken is sometimes contaminated with the following bacteria: Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter. “If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning,” the CDC explains. If you place your raw chicken in the sink to wash it, any kind of germs or bacteria present on the chicken could get transferred to the sink and any other utensils as well. If you then use one of those utensils, you could get food poisoning from the indirect contact you made with the raw chicken.
How to ensure that your chicken is free of germs?
Make sure the chicken is properly cooked before eating it. Always wash the knife and cutting board used to cut chicken, before using them again to chop other veggies.
“Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken,” the CDC says.
Last but not the least, wash your hands with soap after cutting chicken before proceeding to chop other veggies.