The CDC is telling people to stop washing raw chicken

“Don’t wash your raw chicken!,” the CDC tweeted last month. “Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.”

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Don’t wash your raw chicken – wait, what?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention warned Twitter users to not wash their raw chicken, presumably under their kitchen sink, because it can spread germs throughout your kitchen and even to other foods.

“Don’t wash your raw chicken!,” the CDC tweeted last month. “Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.”


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Well, where exactly should chicken be cleaned? The CDC claims raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria. Other times, there could be Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria present, which means it could lead to food poisoning if consumed.

“During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops,” the CDC’s website warns.

The CDC put together a helpful list of suggestions when shopping, cooking and consuming chicken in an effort to help avoid food poisoning:

Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting in your shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent raw juices from getting onto other foods.

Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken.

Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.

Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.

Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.

Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.

Use a food thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.

If cooking frozen raw chicken in a microwavable meal, handle it as you would fresh raw chicken. Follow cooking directions carefully to prevent food poisoning.

If you think the chicken you are served at a restaurant or anywhere else is not fully cooked, send it back for more cooking.

Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if the temperature outside is higher than 90°F).

About a million people every year get sick from contaminated foods, according to the CDC.


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Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.