Don’t Wash Your Chicken!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…don’t wash your chicken! Don’t wash any poultry for that matter. I don’t care what some cookbook authors tell you.
Why the theory of washing a chicken ever came about is beyond me. We’re not doing it with a bleach bath or boiling water, so it can’t be to kill germs. The common direction in many cookbooks is, “Rinse and pat dry”. So the word “washing” isn’t even appropriate.
The water is just helping to spread salmonella germs and other bacteria all over the place-your sink, your counter tops and even on you. If you think your washing technique is so meticulous that you need not worry about it, I’ve got a bushel-full of bad news for you. Even microscopic water droplets can spread the bacteria.
In a recent public safety campaign, researchers at New Mexico State University and Drexel University created a short animated video portraying the mass distribution of those evil germs as a woman washes her chicken. Check it out.
As Drexel food safety researcher Jennifer Quinlan explains, “There’s no reason, from a scientific point of view, to think you’re making it any safer, and in fact you’re making it worse”.
Now I know that an animated video proves nothing scientifically, but it is backed up by several studies including the USDA. If you’re interested, you can read that report here.
Now get your chicken out of your sink and and just cook it properly. That’s the only way you’ll kill those germs and it’s the safe way.