Is Rinsing Raw Chicken a Recipe for Disaster? The CDC Weighs In

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To rinse or not to rinse, that is the question. Your chicken, that is. The great foodie debate is raising concerns with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—putting iconic chef Julia Child’s position (to wash) on the back-burner.

Child famously “fought” (more of a friendly disagreement) with fellow chef Jacques Pepin on their PBS series Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home, insisting that poultry required a rinse before roasting. Pepin took the “hot oven kills the germs” stance, nixing the notion of washing chicken before cooking it.

So which position is the right one? Celeb chef Ina Garten sides with Pepin. But she’s not the only one. Like Pepin and Garten, the CDC is also an advocate for the not-washing stance.

Why shouldn’t you wash your chicken before cooking it? According to a recent tweet, the CDC says to not wash your poultry products. The reason being, “Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.”

There you have it! Rinse raw chicken and you run the risk of splashing germ-infused water onto your broccoli, cauliflower, spoons, forks and everything else that’s nearby. And that’s a major no-no. Instead of washing chicken, the CDC recommends cooking your poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

—Erica Loop

Feature photo: Wow Pho via Pixabay



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