Handling Raw Chicken

Taylor HillmanPoultry, This Land of Ours

Why experts say it’s okay if you don’t wash that raw chicken before it gets cooked. Cathy Isom explains in today’s This Land of Ours segment.

It may be out of habit. Washing or rinsing raw chicken before you’re getting ready to pop it in the oven or on the grill. But USDA’s Food Safety Specialist Marianne Gravely says stop doing that. Because it spreads bacteria around your kitchen, so as you’re running the water and washing the chicken the bacteria aerosolizes and just kind of scatters around the sink area. And you can’t see it, but it’s getting on everything.

There are clean dishes in your dish drainer, your sponge, your soap, the handles on your sink and your hand towel. All those things are going to get bacteria on them. And those are things that are not going to go in the oven and get cooked. So forget washing it first and just cook it. If you cook chicken to 165 degrees, you’ll kill all the bacteria that might be present there and it’ll be perfectly safe.