Washing poultry such as chicken, duck, and turkey doesn't actually get rid of the bacteria on the meat. Read to find out more!
Did you know that washing poultry can do more harm than good?
It increases the risk of cross-contamination
The USDA says that washing poultry, such as duck, chicken, or turkey, won't get rid of any harmful bacteria. In reality, it can even increase the chances of spreading bacteria.
What actually happens when you wash your poultry, let's say chicken, is that the water splashes from the bird and can get onto countertops and other surfaces, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.
Fergus Clydesdale, head of the food science department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst shares that "The risk of cross-contamination through washing poultry is far greater than shoving it in the oven without washing it, which makes the risk almost zero."
Make sure to cook your meat thoroughly
According to the USDA, the best way to avoid getting sick from contaminated poultry would be to cook it, since that's the only way to effectively kill the bacteria on uncooked food.
The same thing would also apply to meat in general; cooking pork, beef, lamb and poultry is the best way to ensure that you don't get sick from bacteria such as salmonella. The only thing that you should wash when handling meat would be the surfaces that you place your meat, and your hands so that you can avoid contaminating other food.
Go to the next page to learn more about food safety!