Do You Wash Raw Chicken Before Cooking It? Stop & Read This First

If you’ve been washing raw chicken before cooking it, you’ve been doing it wrong! Here’s how. 

Health News
2 min read
Washing raw chicken before cooking it might be harming you. 

Washing things gets rid of most bacteria, or so you thought. Turns out we’ve been doing it all wrong. A recent report shows that we need to stop washing raw chicken ASAP. For decades our mothers and grandmothers have been washing raw chicken and then cooking it. Little did we know, that washing raw chicken will spread a host of bacteria and cause various food borne illnesses.

Over 70 percent of the population in the country is non-vegetarian which means that over 93 crore people in India are meat eaters and to imagine that most of these people are prone to food borne illnesses and why? Because they wash their meat before cooking it.


A recent tweet by the CDC blew up when it claimed that washing raw chicken is in fact bad for us. Apparently washing poultry can lead to spread of germs and bacteria. How you ask?

Putting meat under the tap causes the water to splash off of it, these water droplets can travel as far as 50 cms. Since these bacteria are microscopic in nature it is very hard to see where the water is going. This water can in turn contaminate utensils, counter-tops as well as other food material.

This is called cross contamination.

An article by the USDA states that while some bacteria may be tightly attached to the meat others are easier to wash off and many of them might get splashed around in your kitchen, and let’s be honest kitchen is probably the last place we want the bacteria to be.

Raw meat is mostly contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and in some cases even Salmonella bacteria. But before you start panicking there is some good news. This contamination can be avoided by simply skipping the step of washing the meat and cooking it directly. This not only prevents splashing of bacteria but will also rid the chicken of any bacteria that is still attached to it. Cooking the meat at at least 73 degree celsius should do the trick.

If these bacteria are ingested it can lead to diarrhea, abdominal cramps, food poisoning, dehydration and the works, within anywhere between six to 24 hours of ingesting. These symptoms can last for up to 2- 3 weeks.

There are a few ways you can prevent the spread of bacteria though. Washing utensils and possible areas of contamination thoroughly, keeping your workplace and kitchen clean, washing hands regularly and as disgusting as it may sound obviously cooking the raw chicken without washing it.

But the real question is does the same logic apply to fruits and vegetables as well?

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