Never Wash Raw Chicken Before Cooking- Here’s Why (And What To Do Instead)

Why you should never wash raw chicken before cooking?

Raw chicken can carry bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella which are very dangerous and can cause poisoning. Washing raw chicken before cooking it may seem as a harmless thing to do, however it is the exact opposite.

Apparently, if you wash the raw chicken you may spread the dangerous bacteria on the floor and other areas in the kitchen. According to Jennifer Quinlan, a researcher at the college of Drexel, 90% of the participants in studies regarding this issue said that they wash uncooked poultry, mostly because the recipes recommend that. She stated:

You’re not removing bacteria; washing does not kill bacteria. But, there may be a high opportunity that such microorganism may be sprayed by what’s known as aerosolization.”

What should you do?

The US Department of Agriculture recommends washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding contact with the meat and other surfaces.

Prepare the chicken in any way that you prefer, however always make sure that the temperature is not lower than 73 C. Once the meat is done, leave it to cool down and keep it in the fridge.

Drexel University has launched a campaign called Do Not Wash Your Chicken in order to inform as many people as they can about this unhealthy habit.

Symptoms of microorganism presence

After consuming salmonella infected meals, people almost experience abdominal cramps, fever lightheadedness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Recovery from salmonella poisoning usually takes a few days, however it can sometimes turn into a much worse problem.

Campylobacter, which is another type of bacteria present in raw chicken meat, also causes similar symptoms that can last for up to 10 days. According to some experts, these bacteria can even cause much more severe negative effects such as arthritis or Guillain-Barre syndrome, but there is no scientific proof of that yet.

Dr. Quinlan also added that even raw chicken can pose a threat if you wash it before cooking it. She said “Some people think they are destroying the germs. Some just want to stop feeling like they are dirty. There are several reasons, and among them they just feel they should do it. However, you’re not doing your health any good.

Another harmful habit besides washing chicken before cooking it is not storing it properly. You should always place raw chicken in a clean container in the fridge to prevent other foods from being contaminated.