Should You Wash Your Chicken Before Cooking It?
There are some things in life that we just take as a given. Always wear your seat belt, always get eight hours of sleep, and always wash your chickens before cooking them. Everybody knows that.
Right? Well, not really.
Don’t wash your chickens before you cook them.
That’s what the USDA says. Turns out that washing chickens before cooking them doesn’t eliminate food borne pathogens at all – it just spreads them around our hands, sink, and kitchen.
Now which sounds worse: washing your chicken and spreading dangerous pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter, or simply eliminating them by properly cooking your food? In fact, the USDA recommends that no raw meats, pork, beef, fish, etc ever be washed. If it looks like it needs a rinse, then maybe you should skip it.
If I don’t wash it, won’t I be eating all the bad stuff?
No. Not if you cook your meat at the correct temperature. Use a thermometer to check the temperature – simply stick it into the thickest part of the chicken, at least an inch, and leave in for one or two minutes.
So don’t wash raw meats. Got it. What about vegetables?
Vegetable washing is mainly to remove chemicals, pesticides and leftover dirt. Washing your vegetables is a good idea. Just remember, wash your vegetables not your chickens.
And yes, you still have to wear your seat belt.