FOOD

The CDC Is Urging People Everywhere To Stop Washing Raw Chicken

by Angela Andaloro

The internet is the birthplace of many great debates. We’re all still trying to figure out if the dress was black and blue or white and gold, for example.

Most recently, the internet has spawned some major debates over the handling of raw chicken.

In the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk on Twitter about how to properly prepare chicken. It all started a few months ago when a woman live-tweeted her coworker bringing a bag of raw chicken to an office potluck. He fried the bare chicken and proceeded to touch things around the office with his hands after handling the raw chicken, never stopping to wash them.

As the conversation expanded, it became clear that many people have different feelings about whether or not you should wash chicken before preparing it. This led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to come forward with its definitive stance on the subject.

food prep restaurant

There’s an important reason why people who handle food in their professions require training and certifications. Foodborne illnesses can cause serious health issues, with the potential to be fatal.

Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for others, it’s important to know a thing or two about food safety. It can save you from a serious health ordeal.

Not enough people know the basics of handling food. We saw a prime example of this when a woman live-tweeted her coworker preparing raw chicken in the office for a potluck.

The woman explained that her coworker handled raw chicken and proceeded to touch things around the office without washing his hands.

He was having trouble cooking it all the way through, biting into a piece that was still raw. Later, someone left the office feeling sick after eating the chicken.

Following the viral Twitter thread, people started having conversations about the proper way to prepare chicken. Some people claimed that rinsing raw chicken was the best way to avoid foodborne illness, while others claimed the exact opposite.

The CDC finally stepped in to explain that washing chicken actually spreads the bacteria to other surfaces in your kitchen. People who were taught to wash their chicken were taken aback by this information.

Some people explained that they wash raw chicken with vinegar, lemon, or lime juice. They reason that the acidic content will kill germs before cooking. Unfortunately, that’s not accurate.

Other people felt that there’s no reason to contaminate your whole sink when you can wash the chicken in a bowl. Apparently, this person just throws the bowl away afterward.

Although many people believe washing chicken is the proper thing to do, this CDC information proves it’s not true. You should never wash chicken, since that can actually lead to the spread of more bacteria.

Bacteria isn’t just something you can wash off with water. It’s in the actual meat, meaning it’s in areas that water won’t penetrate.

The CDC explains that the way to kill any bacteria that might be in chicken is to cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

The CDC very clearly states:

Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.”

The CDC apologized for causing controversy, since there’s a degree of cultural and regional variance when it comes to how people prepare raw chicken.

Still, the government health institute wants you to go about it in the safest way, to prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria.