WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Are you a raw chicken washer? If so, time to make a change!

Posted August 26, 2013


Do you wash raw poultry before cooking it? If so, you may be causing more harm than good.  The Consumerist published a great food safety article today regarding the dangers of washing raw poultry in your kitchen sink.

Apparently, washing your raw chicken just sprays bacteria-laden water mist over a 3-foot area around your sink. It does not kill or rinse away all the bacteria on the meat.  Only cooking the meat to a safe internal temperature will take care of that nasty bacteria.  You can see a chart with safe internal temperatures based on type of meat at

Until today, I was a whole chicken and whole turkey washer. No more!

For more detailed information on how to handle raw poultry, including the safe internal temperatures chart mentioned above, head to


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  • 3boys3 Aug 27, 2013 for how my grandmother did things...she walked in her back yard...after months of feeding the chickens...grabbed one with each hand, rung their necks..and chopped their heads off on the stump...plucked all the feathers..."washed" the birds, and cooked them up...sooo fabulously delicious! I wash birds now...because I've seen too many people handle themselves in the bathroom, come out, and return to their cooking...and yeah...the high temp will kill the germs...but I "aint' eating it! And the people in the grocery stores...who knows if they do wash after potty breaks..or blowing noses, or not!...I wash the pieces of meat and then cook them, regardless of cooking temp.! OH..and then I like to spray clorox and scrub the sink and counter down.

  • jabbo22 Aug 27, 2013

    I'm a non washer as well. Never really thought to wash it in my 50+ years.

  • straitlover1965 Aug 27, 2013

    I was all non-ground meat. However, I do that to get the slime, bone bits, etc off it. I pat it dry w/ a paper towel afterwards. I do keep the spray down and clean up all around the sink area afterwards.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 27, 2013

    I was beginning to wonder if there were any non-washers here on the blog. A number of folks from the Smart Shopper Facebook page are non-washers, as well.

    Thanks for sharing KLW, trich, and Meredith!

  • KLW Aug 27, 2013

    I have never washed mine. The heat would kill any nastiness and I make sure it's thoroughly cooked.

  • trich28306 Aug 27, 2013

    I've never washed any meat. I know people that do but I was always told that they are pretty safe in the package from the store. I just cook them and make sure they're done. Never been sick from salmonella or anything like that.

  • meredith88 Aug 27, 2013

    I have never washed any of my meats. I also never recall seeing my mother or grandmothers wash any meats. I use the meat (any type) straight out of the package and we've never had a problem with it. I had honestly never even thought about that people might wash their meats. It's something to think about now but since we haven't had any issues in at least 5 decades according to my mom I'm not sure I'll be starting to wash any time soon.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 27, 2013

    So I realize that many of you will all continue to wash your chicken, regardless of the reports, but are you also washing your pork and beef including ground beef?

    I would think that if you wash chicken, the same thought process of washing with water to get it clean would apply to other meats as well.

    Do you wash beef and pork also? If not, why chicken and not other meats?

  • 2thebeach Aug 27, 2013

    I saw that report the other day and thought what are they thinking! So, this past Sunday, we had chicken for supper and I made a conscious effort not to rinse the bonless breast before I cut it up. Well, that lasted through the first three pieces - I couldn't shake the old habit of rinsing poultry before cooking, so the last three pieces were rinsed and I sure felt better even if the only difference it made was to me!

  • justbamom2 Aug 27, 2013

    For MANY generations, we were taught to wash our poultry. In my lifetime, I cannot recall a single incident of anyone getting sick from the poultry or from the contamination of coutertops, etc. I will continue to do so myself. I think that this will always be an area of disagreement on what is the proper. Common sense and cleanliness in general are the key. I tend not to change old habits just because of a new report.