A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says if you are washing raw chicken before cooking it, you’re doing it wrong.
According to the CDC, during washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils and countertops. Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat. While it is a nutritious choice, raw chicken is often contaminated with bacteria.
When handling and preparing chicken the CDC recommends:
- Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting it in your shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent juices from getting onto other foods.
- NEVER wash raw chicken.
- Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken.
- Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
- Never place cooked food or fresh produce on any plate, cutting board or surface that previously held raw chicken.
- Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before preparing another item.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure it is cooked to 165 F, a safe internal temperature.
- If you think chicken you are being served at a restaurant, or anywhere else, is not fully cooked, send it back.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if outside temperature if higher than 90 F).