R a chicken, with its slightly slender brilliance, does not look clean to eat. However, that does not mean you should wash it with water. Although it is common practice for some – and even legendary chef Julia Child, to wash her poultry, scientists consistently agree that rinsing chicken is dangerous.
A report from the US Department of Agriculture released on Tuesday is the latest in a large number of research findings to link poultry washing to an increased risk of getting sick. This is because raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, as well as Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Cooking chicken at 1
Meanwhile, washing chicken easily spreads the bacteria to other surfaces and foods, increasing the likelihood of an unsuspecting encounter that causes people to become ill.
This study was a collaboration between the USDA and North Carolina State University. A total of 300 people were asked to prepare a chicken and salad in a test kitchen located in either the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina or Lillington, North Carolina. All participants themselves reported having some experience of washing or rinsing raw chicken at home. The reasons for the wash included the intention to "remove blood / mucus" or "because that's how a family member does it."
These participants were divided into two groups – one who was told before the cooking experience that washing their poultry was dangerous, and it was not. When they started cooking, 93 percent of the first group did not end up washing the chicken, while 61 percent of the second group did.
Overall, raw chicken near a salad created a potentially dangerous scenario. Twenty-six participants who washed the chicken accidentally transferred the chicken's bacteria to their salad salad. But even when people did not wash their chicken, 31 percent still ended up with salad contaminated with chicken bacteria. This cross-contamination is chalked to "lack of effective hand washing and contamination of the washing equipment."
"Remember that children, older adults and people with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk," explains Administrator Carmen Rottenberg of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "Washing or rinsing raw meat and poultry can increase your risk when bacteria spread around your kitchen, but not washing your hands for 20 seconds immediately after handling these ingredients is just as dangerous."
Investigators also found that 60 percent of the sink and counters in the test kitchens used by the chicken washers were also contaminated by bacteria. Furthermore, 14 percent of these surfaces remained contaminated even after they were cleaned.
Fortunately, nobody ate any of the food prepared in the test kitchen.
The report also notes that although it is popular to salt poultry in salt water, vinegar or lemon juice, it only practices the chicken. It does not destroy nor bacteria, and that bacteria, in turn, contribute to millions of cases of foodborne illnesses that affect Americans every year.
If you really want to get the mucus from the chicken, it is best to fold the area down with a paper towel and wash your hands as soon as possible. !