Getty Images | Sinan Kocaslan

The CDC Puts Out Reminder That We Should Not Wash Raw Chicken

Emily Reily 30 Apr 2019

The CDC has put out a gentle reminder to not wash your raw chicken before you cook it, and people are of course rebelling against this time-honored germaphobe institution.

CDC Issues What Sounds Like a Fair Warning

"Don’t wash your raw chicken! Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen," says the federally funded and well-respected CDC.

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Lots Of Rebels Out There

But people who have seen generations before them wash their chicken before cooking it will not be swayed by this information.

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Marinate On This

Reddit | sneaklepete

The CDC has also posted a page about this subject, which has rubbed people the wrong way.

"So we’re suppose to just 'cook off' all that gunk from it sitting in a maxi pad for god knows how long? Eating left over feathers and bone dust. I’ll continue washing mine and not getting sick from “spread germs”. Y’all enjoy," wrote @MissAuty_Baby.

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Clean Up After Yourself, Obvs

Some suggest, after washing your raw chicken, to just, you know, wash everything else your hands and utensils and sink come in contact with besides the chicken.

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Make Sure You're Cleaning Up Properly

Giphy | Katy Beveridge

But maybe the CDC is anticipating that people won't properly wash all these exterior surfaces, and they're not completely wrong there.

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After all, which one is the easier job here?

Reddit | ifog2

Sanitizing your hands is different from sanitizing a metal sink vs sanitizing utensils of varying materials. Or is it?

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Your Kitchen Might Be Dirtier Than You Think

Unsplash | Curology

There's a good chance your kitchen sink is dirtier than a toilet seat, so when you're cooking raw meat, be extra careful.

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A 'Nutritious Choice' Except When the Choice Is Not Fully Cooked

Giphy | Masterchef

From the CDC:

"Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat. Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria."

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Avoid Food Poisoning

Giphy | Mashable

From the CDC:

"If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning. That’s why it’s important to take special care when handling and preparing chicken."

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Makes Sense To Us

Giphy | Gordon Ramsay

And because none of us are trying to deal with any of those bacteria or the miserable sicknesses they cause, it's a good idea to follow the other steps the CD have for safe chicken handling.

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One of them can sometimes apply before you even bring the chicken home.

Reddit | inscrutabledame442

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

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And the other seems to make their reminder not to wash raw chicken all the more clear.

Reddit | kerigirly77

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

Naturally, that won't do much good if the sink is already contaminated.

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The Main Lesson

Unsplash | Alison Marras

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

If you say so!

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And the sink isn't the only place where problems can arise.

Reddit | jabbernaut

"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."

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Don't Be Chicken; Just Follow the CDC's Sage Advice


Just be safe and do what they say. Please.

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

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They're Just Trying To Help


And they're the experts.

"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."

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Have High Standards For Your Chicken


Don't only be picky when it comes to your own chicken. The CDC has advice for chicken you order at restaurants, too.

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While we can certainly let some things slide in a busy restaurant, this matter isn't one of them.

Reddit | WhippersnapperUT99

"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)."

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