If You Rinse Raw Chicken Before You Cook It – Please Stop!

There are generations of families and home cooks who insist that step No. 1 when preparing any kind of chicken is to wash it and pat it dry. The 1951 edition of the Joy of Cooking advised rinsing out a chicken before roasting it. So did Julia Child on her legendary TV show. Martha Stewart recipes call for it, but public health officials from Canada, the US and the UK say that’s a really bad idea. If you rinse your raw chicken before you cook it just to be safe, please stop. You’re just making things worse.

Rinsing off meat or poultry is actually pointless, since any bacteria that might be on the meat surface are going to be burned off during cooking anyway. Meanwhile the washing process runs the very real risk of spreading bacteria. Spray from the tap can “aerosolize” bacteria, and tiny droplets can find their way onto the sink, work surfaces and utensils as far as 50 cm away.

In fact, the sink is the hotspot for bacteria in the kitchen. Sponges, particularly, harbour huge numbers of bacteria, so when we clean surfaces with these sponges, we just spread them around. Rinsing meat isn’t worth the risk either, since cooking kills bacteria anyway.

Image source: https://curiosity.com/topics/why-you-should-never-wash-raw-chicken-curiosity/

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