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Washing Raw Chicken Before Cooking Is An Unnecessary, Dangerous Step

FILE chefs trim chicken breasts before cooking. (credit: Mark Klobe/Getty Images)

FILE chefs trim chicken breasts before cooking. (credit: Mark Klobe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ed Fischer) Lynne Adkins
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By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you wash chicken before cooking it — stop!

The USDA advises us not to rinse off raw chicken or turkey in the sink before cooking, but nearly 90-percent of us do it anyway,

“There’s really nothing on the chicken that isn’t going to cook off if you just go ahead and cook it,” says Dr. Jennifer Quinlan, an associate professor in the department of nutrition sciences at Drexel University.

“Some people truly think they’re getting the germs off,” Quinlan said. “Some people think, ‘there’s slime on there that I need to get off’ and some people just think they’re supposed to do it. They don’t know why they were just taught to do it.”

She says splashing water on raw poultry can splatter salmonella and campylobacter bacteria on you and nearby surfaces, risking cross contamination and your health.

She says cooking chicken properly will kill the bacteria safely. The recommended internal temperature for poultry is 165 degrees.


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