September 10th, 2013
02:30 AM ET
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Home cooks have been all a-cluck over recent guidance not to wash raw chicken before it's prepared and cooked. While it may seem counterintuitive, food safety resources like the United States Department of Agriculture's "Ask Karen" website advise:

"Washing poultry before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. We call this cross-contamination.

Some consumers think they are removing bacteria and making their meat or poultry safe. However, some of the bacteria are so tightly attached that you could not remove them no matter how many times you washed. But there are other types of bacteria that can be easily washed off and splashed on the surfaces of your kitchen. Failure to clean these contaminated areas can lead to foodborne illness. Cooking (baking, broiling, boiling, and grilling) to the right temperature kills the bacteria, so washing food is not necessary."

The same goes for beef, pork, lamb and veal. Eggs, too, can incur an uptick in potential contamination, because according to the USDA, "the wash water can be 'sucked' into the egg through the pores in the shell."

So why did we all start bathing our birds in the first place? Probably because Julia Child, James Beard, Bettie Crocker, Fannie Farmer, Margaret Mitchell and the "Joy of Cooking" told us - and our parents and grandparents - to.

In 2001, Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1" was republished in a fortieth anniversary edition, complete with a foreword to the 1983 edition that acknowledged updates in kitchen technology since the book's original edition. Beck and Child noted that they had adapted recipes from the original 1961 version to include the use of food processors, update meat thermometer readings and adjust for shorter-cooking rice and reformulated chocolate.

However, the 2001 edition still includes the advice: "Because commercially raised chickens, on the whole, are packed in a communal tub of ice at least during part of their processing, it is probably wise to give them a thorough washing and drying before storing or cooking - just to be on the safe side." A jacket note from the same printing indicates that the text therein "leads the cook infallibly from the buying and handling of raw ingredients, through each essential step of a recipe, to the final creation of a delicate confection."

Plus it's Julia Child! Her, Beck and Bertholle's masterwork became culinary canon because of its rigorous attention to getting recipes right. That omelette technique works every time. The boeuf Bourguignon recipe is practically the basis for a cult, and while there are likely far fewer consumers are consulting brain blanching methods these days, a goodly chunk of those who do probably have their copy of MtAoFC cracked open to the relevant section. It stands to reason that a home cook would assume that every facet of the guidance offered would stand the test of time - and it may have been assumed accurate in its day.

Oeufs can be trusted to fluff as the decades roll on, but food production practices - and the accompanying safety concerns - are in a constant state of flux.

Child, it should be noted, passed away at the age of 91 in 2004. It would not be out of the realm of strong possibility that the obsessive recipe tester might have revised the text to reflect the updated safety information, had she been just a teensy bit further from the century mark.

But plenty of equally-trusted cooks of the era were in the kitchen with Julia on the topic of poultry-laundering.

The 1953 edition of Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker's "The Joy Of Cooking" (originally published in 1931) counseled at the conclusion of "To Draw a Bird" not to to soak the bird at any time, but rather: "Hold it under running water to clean the insides." While it might seem somewhat antiquated or twee for modern cooks to take as gospel the teachings of a book with a robust aspic and "ring salad" section, "Joy" is a book that takes on more cachet, the more generations it's been handed down through.

A cook could be forgiven for trusting a book with his or her grandmother's notes penned primly in the margin. The same goes for devotees of Betty Crocker's 1958 "Dinner for Two" ("Select roasting chicken or young turkey. Remove any pinfeathers and wash. Pat dry."), or Caroline B. Perry's 1953 classic "The Shaker Cookbook: Not by Bread Alone." ("Select chickens weighing 2 1/2 pounds or a little over, for smaller ones lack flavor and cook up waxy. Wash well and quarter.")

Nine different recipes in home economist Margaret Mitchell's 1958 "Mealtime Magic Cookbook" for Alcoa Wrap Kitchens begin with some variation of "Wash, clean chicken, cut into desired pieces." Mrs. Albert Simons of 1950's "Charleston Receipts" believed a rooster needed a good washing before being "boil(ed) hard" for Faber's Pilau. Even actor Alfred Lunt hopped on the chicken cleansing train with his Chicken Paprika recipe in the 1948 "The Celebrities Cookbook." ("Wash and disjoint chicken, cutting into portions for serving.")

Toss one more on the fire? Fine: no less an expert than Fannie Merritt Farmer advised in the 1929 edition of "The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book":

"Remove oil bag, and wash bird by allowing cold water to run through it, not allowing bird to soak in cold water. Wipe inside and outside, looking carefully to see that everything has been withdrawn. If there is disagreeable odor, suggesting that fowl may have been kept too long, clean at one, wash inside and out with soda water, and sprinkle inside with charcoal, and place some under wings." [Editor's note: If this even needs to be said, don't try this one at home.]

By 1972, gourmand and cookbook author James Beard made chicken washing contingent upon its origins. While lamenting about the loss of flavor he attributed to modern poultry raising methodology, Beard found one thing to crow about in his "American Cookery":

"However, these nine-weeks wonders are beautiful to look at, perfectly drawn and cleaned, and come so pure they do not even have to be washed before cooking...There was once a time when chicken was a Sunday dinner dish and could be found in most homes stuffed and roasted, stewed with dumplings, or fried and served with cream gravy. Now it is daily food, propagandized for its low calorie count."

Just several pages later, Beard paid homage to these heavy, homey dishes with recipes for sumptuous, long-stewed Country Captain, Stuffed Poached Chicken and Country-Style White Fricassee. He cited chicken washing in each of those, but not for any fried variation, Chicken California or anything involving poaching. American cooks, it seemed, were testing their wings, but not yet ready to fly away from the faucet completely.

Nowadays, there's nary a peep about chicken washing, even in poultry-centric cookbooks, unless it's a caveat against the practice. Cooks Illustrated's 1999 "The Complete Book of Chicken" makes no mention of it, and the tenth anniversary edition of Mark Bittman's food bible "How to Cook Everything" relies on general kitchen cleanliness (including lots of hand washing) and obsessive attention to temperature to ensure the annihilation of harmful bacteria like salmonella.

Better Homes and Gardens, however, knows how far you've come together, and how hard it is to let go of the past. The plaid-bound workhorse of a cookbook could be found in one million American kitchens by its eighth anniversary in 1938 and has now sold more than 34 million copies. It seems almost like a civic duty for the editors to lay it out plainly:

"Rinsing poultry and meat is not necessary. The less you handle it the better."

Maybe...just maybe, the flock will finally follow.

– Fast facts on salmonella

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.

Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.

Consumer resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration's Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts
FDA Food Safety
FoodSafety.gov
United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Education
IsItDoneYet.gov

More on food poisoning from CNN Health and all foodborne illness coverage on Eatocracy



soundoff (471 Responses)
  1. john pickett

    I sticks all my meats in the dish washer cleans & cooks all at same time

    June 18, 2014 at 5:31 am |
  2. choke the chicken

    I rinse & pat dry all meat before cooking it because it removes the coat of slime that develops as meat sits in the fridge. It has nothing to do with hygiene but rather with cooking technique. The meat cooks better if the surface is dry before going into the oven/frying pan/batter/bread crumbs/flour/etc... The Joy of Cooking explains this technique and rationale in the "about meat" section.

    June 18, 2014 at 4:55 am |
  3. wildernessthemeaningoflife

    Washing is left over from the days we plucked and cleaned the chicken ourselves. It was originally meant to remove the blood and guts

    June 18, 2014 at 3:43 am |
  4. Dover

    Washing poultry is not meant to remove bacteria, it is meant to remove feces from the whole production process. Who wants to ingest feces? You can sanitize your work area very easily after washing your poultry. Wash the bird!

    June 18, 2014 at 3:25 am |
  5. Ted

    I wash chicken as a rule for both cut up or whole poultry. Cut up always seems to have bone chips or grit, and as for whole, I like it to be properly washed and clean. I find it lends to a better cooked dinner for both roasting or what ever you are preparing with your poultry. However, each to their own taste & custom. This was how I was raised, and it works for me.

    June 18, 2014 at 2:44 am |
  6. Pturner

    I don't wash chicken, if I am going to bread it for deep frying or baking, I put it in a bowl of water, bread it, then dip it back in the water, other than that, no.

    June 18, 2014 at 2:19 am |
  7. clouseau2

    My favorite line from "The Food Revolution" by John Robbins: "The reason we have more e.coli bacteria in our sinks than in our toilets is because we don't wash our chicken in the toilet."

    June 18, 2014 at 2:09 am |
  8. omeany

    So the point of this article is never wash your meat!

    June 18, 2014 at 1:45 am |
  9. John

    I wash raw chicken, and follow good procedures to prevent cross contamination, and everyone preparing food should do the same. Washing is not to remove bacteria as so many seem to be talking about. Properly cooked the bacteria will cook and not be an issue. The concern are some toxins that some bacteria produce. These toxins do not break down nor do they simply go away simply because the chicken is properly cooked, it must be washed. Washing also provides opportunity to examine each piece to ensure it is properly cleaned and if boneless that it actually is boneless, I did find a bone where there should not have been one just three weeks ago, I may have saved a life.

    June 18, 2014 at 1:43 am |
  10. Behjat

    Im considered to be an excellent cook and I keep my home and especially, my kitchen exteremely clean,I wash my chicken, meat, egg, and challenge anyone to find any bacteria or contaminant in my kitchen, sink, or any other dishes that comes in contact with them. The thought of cooking meat and especially chicken directly out of their packaging is disgusting. They are slimy, bloody, and full of fat. That is true with organic and free range products. No one has ever been sick as a result of eating my food. Asking people to not wash their meat and chicken is the wrong thing to do. Instead, they need to learn how to wash and clean afterward appropriately so they don't get sick.

    June 18, 2014 at 1:32 am |
    • shawn l

      Ive never had chicken that was slimy. And blood is inside the chicken, so who cares if its on the outside. Myself, I just put the chicken in a bowl and brine it, the water washes away whats off the outside, and salt will kill bacteria anyway.

      June 18, 2014 at 3:49 am |
  11. Roland B

    I think it's hilarious that people wash chicken, but don't think twice about handling money or touching a door knob to go into a building...that is probably 100x dirtier than the chicken. Do you wash your hands *every single time* after you handle money or enter a building? I didn't think so.
    "Clean" is merely an illusion that we convince ourselves of. Study after study shows that even the "cleanest" kitchens are full of bacteria–everywhere.

    June 18, 2014 at 1:15 am |
    • Resturantadvisor

      You are just right... The medieval days there was no cross contamination in food... the only cross contamination is what we call races....most health department officials not only have sick minds but also sick family. God bless them!

      June 18, 2014 at 1:28 am |
    • Choker

      Ok no washing before cooking. How about washing after choking your chicken?

      June 18, 2014 at 1:28 am |
  12. hogarth

    Since the advice against washing has to do with the possibility of getting germs on other surfaces, and since I am careful never to let surfaces that touch raw meat touch anything else I prepare food on, I will continue to wash poultry as part of preparation, just as I pull pinfeathers that are often left by the producers. I have never – and I mean never – acquired a case of food poisoning from anything I have prepared at home.
    Also, as others have pointed out, not washing your poultry doesn't do a thing to prevent cross contamination if you aren't following proper handling procedures in the first place, and if you are, washing your bird won't do a thing to hurt you.

    June 18, 2014 at 12:59 am |
  13. Booggalloo

    Has anyone else ever noticed the bone marrow from when they slice through meat and curdled blood on it. Looks pretty gross to me therefore I wash it. I get sick at the thought of eating unwashed meat. No one knows if that meat hasn't been on dropped on the floor or accidently mixed in with other by-products of the meat. I will continue to wash, wash, wash my meat. It's also common sense to make sure counter tops etc., are properly cleaned afterward.

    June 18, 2014 at 12:35 am |
  14. Steve

    I just wash the slime off. Couldn't care less about the germs. Rarely wash the counters and so far in my fifty years of life, no deaths in my family and nobody has gotten sick from it.

    June 18, 2014 at 12:20 am |
    • Resturantadvisor

      follow your habit... you do not need experts to tell you what is ight... you are right if no issues have occurred
      ... way to go!!!!!

      June 18, 2014 at 1:30 am |
  15. johndoe

    I don't wash my meat for health reasons. I do it because the ladies prefer it that way.

    Now when I wash my chicken I do it simply to rinse off the packaging slime and saline. It also helps warm the food up to room temperature to ensure even cooking when tossing it on the grill.

    June 18, 2014 at 12:19 am |
  16. Olaf Big

    The article does not mention it, but there is another reason not to wash the chicken, especially if you like stir fries. When you throw the chicken pieces in the hot wok, that thin slimy layer on the meat surface bakes and seals in the juices . If you wash the meat, that layer is gone and the juices will run out.

    June 17, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
  17. Jeana

    My mom always washed her chicken before cooking it, and I've continued the same tradition. In almost 80 years of combined cooking, we've never gotten sick from cross contamination. Why? Well, this is where is gets complicated...we wash out counters, sinks, etc. down with very hot soapy water or something like Clorox cleanup. Any type of meat can have bone fragments, etc. on it from the processing plant, so we wash our meat off. A little common sense can go a long way in protecting oneself.

    June 17, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
  18. ElizabethB

    In processing the meat, you can't tell me feces don't end up on the chicken. I will continue to wash it, I don't want to eat deep fried chichen sh@!. I clean my kitchen with bleach, I add bleach to the water when hand washing dishes and nothing survives the dishwasher. I've never had food poisoning and I'm 64 years young.

    June 17, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
    • Miss Henceforth

      Wow, you actually think that eating chicken is any different than eating a chicken's p00p? Truth is you are eating just about the same thing. To eat the flesh of an animal is to eat everything that it ate....yes, everything. That includes bugs, p00p and pee and lots more disgustingness.

      June 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
      • Doh

        Miss Henceforth is nuts.

        Probably vitamin B12 deficiency form a militant-vegetarian diet.

        June 17, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
      • Ruby

        Oh dear, leaves veggie eaters in a real spot doesn't it? Eat dirt, animal waste, dead things, petrol-chemical fertilizer...

        June 18, 2014 at 12:29 am |
    • Olaf Big

      You need to ease off bleach, or you may not make it to 74. Hot water and dish soap would do it for you. Bleach, reacting with organic matter, produces very toxic compounds.

      June 17, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
  19. bs1

    Give it a rest, we, the cooking public don't give a damn about this idiotic "advice". We will continue to wash the nasty slime off our raw chicken and any other meats we so desire, we will continue to not spash rinse water all over our kitchens and we will continue to wash and sanitize our countertops and other kitchen surfaces regularly. If you splash rinse water everywhere and never clean your counters you're going to get sick whether you wash meat or not.

    June 17, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
  20. mickinmd

    There's no mention that our chickens are washed in bleach before we get them – something that has made many nations ban imports of American chicken. Does washing help there?

    June 17, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
    • Anna

      Thank you for bringing this up. Chlorine is one of the biggest problems not just in our water, but also in our food. I thought that I was gluten intolerant when it was actually the bleached flour that caused all the havoc. Growing up in Europe I had no problems, but here in the States people are being poisoned systematically.

      June 17, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
  21. Tom

    I always used to wash my raw chicken. Just thoroughly clean the surfaces that touch it or get splashed – duh. But since this came out, I don't do it, just to save time and energy.

    June 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
  22. Chicken Man

    I wash my chicken every day.

    June 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
    • Wally

      Choke it first.

      June 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • Jack

      I wash my children everyday, too.

      June 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
  23. Alberto

    I wash my chicken with vinegar- don't be nasty.

    June 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
  24. fweioff

    I've never heard of washing meat. You'd have to be pretty stupid to think that would eliminate bacteria. Just cook it properly.

    June 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
    • L.V.

      I wash chicken to remove any added chemicals, blood, and debris that was present during packaging. On most packages of raw chicken it says things were added to it.

      I wash fruits and vegetables also even if the package says it was prewashed.

      June 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
    • oldbones24

      I wash all food before cooking it, I've broken a tooth on a chip of bones the processer missed. I also grind my own meat, I don't like gristle filler in my hamburger. The article implies that it is ok to wash the meat, just don't contaminate the rest of the kitchen.

      June 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
  25. multiversatile

    I EAT the raw chicken. Chicken from Walmart that has festered on my countertop for a week – after it was returned to the meat department following hours sitting in the shoe department. I rub its slime on my body and food prep surfaces. I feed it to my pets and my babies. I lick it and swallow. I use it as a love toy.

    Nah. I usually wash it, cook it, and eat it. Sorry to get you so excited.

    June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
  26. Enormousgorn

    How about not eating chicken at all?

    June 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
    • ionymous

      Regardless of what you personally do with chicken, don't wash it before cooking.

      June 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
  27. Nicole

    I cook my chicken to the proper temperature, which obviously kills off any pesky bacteria. Why on earth would I need to wash it? It's an extra step that causes more problems than it solves and just wastes time. I've never even heard of washing chicken before reading this, and I come from a long line of avid cooks. The only time I put my poultry in water is to brine it.

    June 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • joe

      I always wash my chicken...why, because I use to work at a chicken plant where they kill the chicken..you would think it's clean but not really..trust me you don't want that extra flavor.....just saying..

      June 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
    • Ravi

      Chef Jacques Pepin on why he does not wash chicken: "Ze chicken will cook in ze oven at 225 degrees for 2 hrs. If any bacteria can survive that, they deserve to live."

      June 17, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
      • Aeroman08

        Lmao! This made my day!

        June 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
    • westsidebilltx

      What problems? I don't get that at all. Anyone that doesn't know how to clean and sanitize a surface after using it for raw foods deserves to get sick. Besides, it doesn't say you SHOULDN'T wash chicken; it just says you have to be smart enough to clean/sanitize your surfaces it comes into contact with when preparing it. The "uptick" in illnesses comes from people being too stupid or too lazy to keep from cross-contaminating their foods. Too bad for stupid and lazy people. Not washing your chicken is completely stupid.

      June 17, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
      • Annitte

        Washing chicken to get germs off is beyond silly. IT doesn't wash off bacteria, doesn't affect bacteria at all. Now if you fret about bone bits or feces that is one thing. but it does nothing to bacteria one way or the other. Bleach is utterly stupid ingesting bleach is not healthy. Cooking if you cook chicken properly will kill anything likely to make you ill. I have eaten unwashed chicken for 64 years and never gotten ill. I did get ill from well washed spinach however, because washing is not the same as sterilizing.

        June 18, 2014 at 1:13 am |
      • jennthemermaid

        Wow, you're really excited about this. I have never in my 42 years of life washed chicken or meat. NEVER. And guess what? I NEVER get sick. I break an elbow every once in a while or fall down the stairs, but I don't get the sniffles, colds, tonsillitis, food poisoning, ANYTHING. I'm super healthy without doing all that stuff. So, there's that. Either way, sounds like people have their kitchens under control. It's not stupid if you never get sick from it or it never affects you negatively. Just wanted you to know I don't do it and I'm just fine.

        June 18, 2014 at 3:38 am |
  28. Bob

    I'm not going to take my chicken out of a package and cook it without washing it. I don't know where it's been or who touched it before it went into the package. I rinse it under the tap with cold water. You have to be a big putz to splash the 'chicken water' over other surfaces other than the inside of the sink. The advice to not wash chicken is nonsense.

    June 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
  29. SixDegrees

    Well, OK. But the USDA also recommends cooking meat to the point of incineration. Their doneness temperatures are hideously high, and effectively ruin meat if followed. So I think I'll pass on their chicken washing advice, too, and favor what real chefs recommend.

    June 17, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
  30. Mick

    Chicken really is my all time favourite food. Sometimes I wash, sometimes I don't, depends on how long the item has been sitting in my fridge. I'm not the most particular cook when hygiene and sanitation come in to play, but I am rarely ill, then only very minor. Now I'm going to devour those drumsticks!

    June 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
  31. foodfight

    Preventing cross contamination when washing chicken, or any animal protein for that matter, is a matter of kitchen technique and discipline. It is just as likely when unwrapping those same products. The benefits of washing is an improvement in flavor that can come with removing the well-aged crud that your chicken or whatever has been packaged with. If you have a real bird, unenhanced, that's been prepped and case dried by a good butcher, then don't wash. If you have the usual grocery store, plastic-wrapped, stuff, a good rinse (done with care to avoid cross contamination) is well worth the tie and effort. If you have one of those factory processed enhanced bird (contains up to X% added broth or something similar), forget the washing; in fact forget the chicken, throw it the trash, and find something else to cook and eat.

    June 17, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
  32. Tucker

    Since I started rinsing (not washing!) my chicken and turkey before cooking, it seems to be more flavorful and tender. It isn't like most cooks are so careless as to use a sink sprayer and have water all over the kitchen when they are done. Sheesh. A slight turn of the handle to get a little water going gently over the skin of the bird is adequate. My counter top is constructed of Corian (there are other brands that are just as good). Corian is non-permeable, meaning unlike granite or wood, things don't get trapped in little pores on the surface. Easy to spray it down with a disinfectant or a bleach-based cleaner and let it sit for a while before cleaning.

    June 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
  33. BN

    Conventional chickens are often packaged with 10% brine solution to attempt to tenderize the meat. I'll continue to wash the chicken to get whatever salt removed that I can if I purchase a conventional chicken.

    June 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  34. Susan

    Of course I wash my chicken. Just because it doesn't get *all* the bacteria, doesn't mean it doesn't get some or even most of it. Besides, eating a bunch of dead bacteria isn't exactly what I'm aiming for. I'll wash off what I can then kill the rest by cooking.

    June 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
  35. hurf

    grocery store chicken is garbage and usually covered in gunk, I rinse to get that off, not the salmonella. If the meat looks fresh then I dont wash

    June 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  36. ES

    I always wash it because chicken in my house usually goes into the soup pot. I am not going to put it in with all the slime that it has.

    June 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
  37. suj

    This article is good reader troll material. I bit. Fill a bowl with warm water. Add 3 or 4 drops of bleach to the water. Without making a splash, put your chicken or chicken pieces in the bowl and let it soak for 3 – 4 minutes. This is all the time the bleach needs to pretty much sanitize the chicken's surface, but not sterilize your chicken. Rinse if you wish, but not normally necessary, dry and cook.

    June 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
  38. suj

    I hate chicken slime. Packaging companies, trying to increase their profits leave so much of their rinse water in packaged chicken that Often the food tampons in the Styrofoam container are completely saturated and the nasty water sloshs around. The chicken has been sitting in it for DAYS. The processing of chicken and the way its packaged these days is just nasty. For this reason I try to avoid the processed pieces and buy and cut up a whole bird, one that is preferably not sold in a water soaked sealed bag.
    I'd buy and kill my own yard bird if it were only legal in my parts.

    June 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • suj

      On more than one occasion I weighed the excess water in packaged chicken, in the small, not the bulk or family packs, and more than often than not, the water itself weighted more than 1/4 pound! That's a quarter of pound of chicken I paid for in a package that weighs between 1.5 to 2 pounds.

      June 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  39. Mike

    I stopped washing chicken two years ago because of a similar article but then recently started again because the thought occurred to me that accidentally chemicals(cleaning or otherwise) could have been spilled on chicken somewhere in the processing line.

    June 17, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  40. NibblyBits

    I had always washed off chicken wings because that's what I was taught. Then I started cooking more which included chicken cutlets which I never washed. Then I questioned the big tiff over washing chicken wings. Obviously salmonella isn't only on the outter most part of the chicken. And that's all that gets washed. Unless you're trying to get rid of excess blood, washing the chicken just seems moot to me now.

    March 2, 2014 at 4:18 am |
  41. myrtlemaylee

    I have always washed my chickens & will continue to do so. I have a stainless steel sink where I perform the necessary surgeries etc. I don't BLAST the water out of the faucet either; a lesser stream of water works fine. I have soap & antiseptic sink cleaner handy & no one in my family has ever had salmonella (thank God). I regularly clean my counter tops with antiseptic cleaners because I prepare food on them. I clean more thoroughly before I start canning. And I'm no clean-freak – honestly. While I appreciate the statistics, I can't imagine eating unwashed chicken.

    September 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  42. wren

    I always put the chicken in the sink to pull out the guts bag. Then if the inside looks messy I will rinse it out a bit. I won't be doing that anymore.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Oblivious Man

      Yea, you'll safer and better off baking that chicken, with the bag of guts and all. Heck, why take a chance aqnd take it out the bag until its timer has popped?

      June 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
  43. Al Ngullie

    Why do you science people spoil everything including our chicken?

    September 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  44. Jenna

    Just don't eat chicken. Problem solved.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Tommy

      Excellent! Probably the best way to avoid eating the chicken s**t picked up from the large producer's communal wash.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mr.Fletch

      yah, you are correct!!! just eat entire all the feathers instead..

      September 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Just don't eat. No problems with your food, ever....

      September 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
      • Ruby

        The funny stuff, thanks.

        June 18, 2014 at 12:41 am |
  45. Terrence Alexander

    Squeeze a lime or two over the chicken ( you can also add some salt)and let it marinate for about 5- 10 minutes.This will take away the fresh scent.Wash your chicken after and it's all good.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  46. W.G.

    It says don´t wash the meat because of cross contamination . Well just clean everything that has been
    exposed to the meat . I´m still going to wash my meat . Since I´ve been doing it I haven´t gotten sick .

    September 11, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Thinking things through

      And if you don't wash the chicken, you can still get cross contamination by not cleaning off your cutting board, etc. Besides if I ever followed a brining recipe, I'd really want to wash off the excess salt before cooking it.

      September 11, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • fweioff

      I like to go jogging and I haven't gotten sick from eating meat either. That doesn't mean jogging makes my meat safe.

      June 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • Daisy

        Great Comment!!

        June 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
  47. Kinse

    I wash the chicken with salt at least three time.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:53 am |
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