Step away from the sink with that raw chicken!
While many consumers say they believe giving poultry a quick rinse under the faucet is a precautionary measure that wards off illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it can do more harm. "Don’t wash your raw chicken!," the CDC tweeted April 26. "Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen." With that tweet, the government agency included a link to its tips on preventing food poisoning with chicken and estimated that every year about a million people get sick from eating poultry that’s contaminated with harmful germs.
The reason not to wash, the CDC says, is that during washing the "chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and counter tops."
I grew up in a home with parents who couldn’t cook for shit, so my affinity for food as an adult is tainted by trauma.I remember many nights where my sisters' and I were presented with either finishing our food or getting the belt, and us willingly taking that ass whooping just so we could get some sleep. I remember botched recipes that looked like they came out of a lab. I remember under-cooked meatloaf and actually looking forward to Pizza Day at school. So as an adult, I primarily eat out of necessity than actual enjoyment. And as a result, outside of searing some salmon on the stove, I didn't really cook for shit either.
But like any sensible human being, I use to wash raw chicken. And I expect the same from the rest of Western Civilization. This debate has raged on for millennia, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention apparently had enough of World War Chicken and decided to settle the dispute once and for all.
“Don’t wash your raw chicken!” they scolded on Twitter. “Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.”But as the Internet erupted into chaos as a result of this landmark ruling, the CDC wasn’t done yet. They were kind enough to provide some steps on how to avoid food poisoning while preparing your unwashed chicken that include putting chicken in a disposable bag before putting it in your shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent raw juices from contaminating other foods; washing your hands in warm soapy water for 2o seconds before and after handling raw chicken; using a separate cutting board; and never placing cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board or any other surface that previously had raw chicken on it.
Responses to the social media post got a little heated, with many saying they didn't plan to change their ways So like millions of others, I suppose now we all must learn to embrace the new normal.
Preventing food poisoning
Here are the steps the CDC advises when shopping, cooking, and eating out to help prevent food poisoning: Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting it in your shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent raw juices from getting onto other foods.Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken. Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and counter tops.
Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken. Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.Use a food thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.If cooking frozen raw chicken in a microwavable meal, handle it as you would fresh raw chicken.
Follow cooking directions carefully to prevent food poisoning.If you think the chicken you are served at a restaurant or anywhere else is not fully cooked, send it back for more cooking.Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within two hours (or within one hour if the temperature outside is higher than 90°F).