Should you wash chicken before you cook it?



KitchenGadgets March 14, 2012
Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer. It makes more sense now knowing what the logic is behind washing and not washing the chicken. I like the idea of using vinegar or lime juice to clean the meat, think I'll be trying that.
Jaynerly March 14, 2012
I always rinsed chicken but the advice here (UK) now is not to do that as you are more likely to get food poisoning from bacteria filled splashes than the bacteria on the chicken which will be cooked away at high temperatures.
petitbleu March 14, 2012
It's true that there once was a time when rinsing your chicken before cooking was common practice. That's changing. More and more, the general advice is that you should not rinse meat before cooking for multiple reasons. One is that, yes, you can spread bacteria all over your sink and countertop by rinsing it and, two, dry skin is important when you want a crispy final result, like with roast chicken. And yes, if you cook the chicken properly, the bacteria will die. Of course, if you kill your own chickens, you'll want to rinse those ;)
As a compromise, you could rinse the chicken carefully (washing up your sink area afterward), dry it thoroughly with paper towels, and leave it uncovered in the fridge for several hours to dry out the skin before cooking. This way, if you feel the need to rinse the chicken, you can still have crisp skin.
Meatballs&Milkshakes March 14, 2012
General advice these days is not to wash your chicken because just as joshheller says, it spreads any potential bacteria around your sink and kitchen. Bacteria will be killed as long as you cook your chicken completely. And if you get your chicken at a reputable place like a local butcher shop and preferably organic, you're less likely to have any problems.
Author Comment
I presonally clean, and devein all of my meat with vinegar or lime juice to disinfect. If cleaned in a bowl, simply wash your bowl and sink with disinfectant after having cleaned your meat.

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joshheller March 14, 2012
No. Any harmful bacteria are on the inside. Washing does nothing. In fact it can be harmful as it spreads some bacteria around the sink and the tap where it can then multiply. Bad idea. Don't do it.
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