Food Safety News reports that according to a poll, nearly half of Australians wash their chicken before they cook it. Now, I realize that many people have previously been taught to do this back in ye olden days, but please, don’t do this anymore. The CDC has guidance on why not to do this (it also applies to you lovely Aussies), and it’s so you don’t splatter and spread bacteria from chicken all over the kitchen.
But, the good news is, 49% of chicken washers is a decrease from previous numbers. Cathy Moir, who’s chair of the Australian Food Safety Information Council, said, “We are pleased that rates of washing raw whole chicken has reduced from 60 percent to 49 percent since we last asked this question in 2011. Cooks who wash raw chicken pieces with skin on has also reduced from 52 percent to 43 percent and washing skinless pieces from 41 percent to 40 percent.”
I know you’re concerned about bacteria, but when poultry is cooked properly to 165 degrees F, you’ve cooked off any potential harmful bugs that would otherwise ruin your week. This is why a meat thermometer is an essential part to any kitchen. If you don’t have one and you regularly cook meat at home, you need one. Plus that way you can also avoid overcooking food, which leads to its own set of disappointments.
Don’t forget to wash all utensils and cutting boards (and anything else) that have come in contact with raw meat if you plan on chopping stuff up with the same tools later, too. As long as you practice some basic safety measures in the kitchen, you can avoid getting sick from your own cooking, which is generally something I recommend in the first place. And if you’re still an avid chicken washer, don’t worry. You can always change your ways. I believe in you!