Wash raw chicken? The CDC says don’t do it!

Posted at 8:07 AM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 09:07:16-04

For most, giving raw chicken a good rinse before cooking has been a cardinal rule of the kitchen. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that washing your chicken can actually spread more germs.

In a tweet posted on April 26, the CDC shared some unfortunate news about your chicken washing habits.

“Don’t wash your raw chicken,” the tweet reads. “Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.”

Those germs include Campylobacter bacteria, Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens which can lead to food poisoning, according to the CDC.

A link in the tweets leads readers to the CDC’s page with steps on how to avoid the potential for food poisoning from raw chicken.

Some tips, along with not washing raw chicken, include washing your hands for 20 seconds before and after handling, using separate cutting boards, and keeping raw foods and the surfaces they touch away from cooked food and produce.

Responses to the tweet were mixed with most people asking, “then how are you supposed to clean the chicken?”

The CDC responded to those questions by saying that the best way to clean a chicken is to cook it to an internal temperature of 165 F to kill any harmful germs and prevent food poisoning.

Other’s tweeted that they will continue to wash their chicken despite the warning.

But the CDC was quick to reply to those naysayers with a follow-up tweet.

“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.” the tweet reads. “You shouldn’t wash any poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking. They can all spread germs around your kitchen. Don’t wing food safety!”