People often wash chicken before cooking, as evidenced by the belief that this helps get rid of pathogenic bacteria and other contaminants in the chicken. This belief is supported by many recipes that call for chicken to be washed before cooking, such as Joy of Cooking magazine published in 1951, which recommends washing chicken before frying, which Julia Child did on the TV show, and Martha Stewart.
Public health workers, microbiologists and professional chefs are urging people to stop washing chicken before cooking. Experts believe that washing chicken before cooking is more harmful than healthy, and contrary to popular belief, washing chicken before cooking does not get rid of bacteria, but increases the likelihood of contamination of meat with dangerous pathogens.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Washing does not kill pathogens and increases the risk of contaminating other foods and surfaces, so food safety experts do not recommend using this method.”
Jennifer Quinilan, associate professor of food safety at Drexel University, and Shauna Henley, a doctoral student, launched the “Don’t Wash the Chicken” campaign. The campaign aims to educate people about the consequences of washing chicken before cooking through photonovelas and mini-plays. The University of New Mexico is a partner in this campaign, and because of its ability to create videos, it has been able to create stories with professional actors.
Despite warnings to wash poultry before cooking, many people still do, but an FDA study found that 67 percent of Americans wash meat before cooking. Cooking. Kate Warriner, professor of food science at the University of Guelph, told CTVNews.
It wasn’t until the 1990s and 2000s that medical professionals started saying, “Oh wait, this is more dangerous than we thought.” So now you have to make people without software.”
Another common belief among people is that washing meat with hot water, vinegar, or chlorine can help sterilize food, but it may be effective to some extent in sterilizing meat, but there is little evidence that it is effective in sterilizing poultry. The safest way to sterilize a chicken and prevent infection is to cook the bird above 1300 degrees.
High temperatures kill harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Salmonella causes illness in about 1.2 million Americans annually. 23,000 of the cases result in hospitalizations, and 450 end in death. Campylobacter on the other hand causes an estimated 1.3 million illness each year. “Just 500 cells of campylobacter will give you profuse diarrhea for a week,” Warriner warns about the infection.
However, the question that remains unanswered is how do people clean up contaminants when bacteria and other microorganisms spread while washing the blood, feathers and other waste in chicken meat? Some people believe that the safest way to remove dirt is to gently rub the chicken with a paper towel and then discard the paper.