Food safety experts do not recommend washing chicken, as doing so could increase the risk of food poisoning contamination. However, some cooks are reluctant to abandon this practice, for them, there are some recommendations about How to wash chicken safely and limit the spread of bacteria and how that can make washing chicken safer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria.
Washing chicken increases the risk of food poisoning because, during washing, chicken juices can spread into the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.
How to wash chicken safely and limit the spread of bacteria
Even the smallest splashes contaminate sinks with germs that can be spread through contact with other foods and hands.
Science News reports from some researchers who have some recommendations for how to wash chicken more safely or carefully. As a study published in AIP Physics of Fluids.
Reducing splatter may be part of a multi-pronged approach to controlling germs in the kitchen, according to food safety researcher Ellen Shumaker of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
How to reduce contamination from washing raw chicken
- 1. Minimize the distance between the faucet and the surface of the chicken. This helps reduce the spread of bacteria. In tests, if water falls 16 inches before touching a chicken breast or drumstick, germs travel farther, contaminating much of the surrounding area than when water falls from a height of about 6 inches.
- 2. Consider the water pressure. Turn on the water gradually to avoid creating an explosion of droplets. Lower water pressure reduces splashing and the resulting spread of germs.
- 3. Perform washing in a short time. After washing the chicken, clean the sink with hot soapy water.
- 4. Wash your hands with warm soapy water after handling the chicken. The CDC estimates that Salmonella causes more foodborne illness than any other bacteria. Chicken is a major source of these diseases. Approximately 1 in 25 packages of chicken in the supermarket is contaminated with Salmonella.