Your Mother Was Wrong About Rinsing Raw Chicken

Your mother does it. You do it. Hell, even Julia Child did it. But, despite what you may have heard, rinsing raw chicken is actually a big no-no.

Here’s why: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, washing raw poultry--or really any type of meat--can mean cross-contaminating anything in the vicinity of your sink with dangerous bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter.

Additionally, most bacteria can’t be removed by a stream of water, anyway, meaning all your efforts are pretty much for naught. The only thing that will kill bacteria (and leave your food edible) is heat. So cook that bird until it's 165 degrees and the juices stop running pink and you’re good to go.

Can’t stomach even seeing that slimy layer on unwashed poultry? You can totally pat it dry with a paper towel, say food safety experts. But, honestly, if your chicken is that slimy to begin with, just consider switching up butchers.

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Lindsay Champion

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.
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