New research from USDA: Don't wash chicken before cooking

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Instead of US worrying about how to handle our food, why isn't more being done to make sure our food is SAFER FOR US TO EAT?
That would require the cooperation of consumers, farmers, livestock transporters, processing plants, government regulators/inspectors, and scientists, and probably more $$$. I'm not sure anyone trusts anyone anymore to do what's needed, and no one wants to spend the $$$.

I was reading what I thought was a recent Consumer Reports article on their bacteria testing of poultry, the terrible results they found, and their call to action...and it was dated 1998. Not much has changed in 21 years, I don't expect much change moving forward.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
<snip>Remember, those most at risk for more serious Salmonella infections are the elderly, small children and people with compromised immune systems. If you're not going to take precautions for yourself, maybe you should do it for the grandparents and youngest kids at your dinner table.
The wife of one of my dad's best friends died from bad Chinese ~>10 years ago.

That was hard to believe.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
When this came up a couple years ago, I remember that was the main takeaway, rinsing just spreads the contamination, more so than we think it does.

I open the package over/in the sink, and let it drain off. No rinsing, just pat it dry with paper towels, which go in their own disposal sack, along with the packaging.

If I'm cooking, I clean the sink after everything is has been repackaged. I just use some cleaning powder that contains some bleach in it.
One more reason to go vegetarian :)

I seriously think about that. People get sick/die from plant-based (fruit/veg) and there's a nationwide freakout, but with meat, the danger's always there.
 
I think it is a very simple thing to wash your poultry. It only takes a few minutes and can prevent many serious illnesses. If I was a guest at someone's dinner who didn't wash/rinse
their turkey I would proclaim that I had suddenly become a vegetarian and pass on the turkey.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
I don't say this as a challenge; I seriously don't know what benefit comes from a poultry cold rinse. I understand the benefit of fully cooking it but what does a rinse do? Can someone educate me on this?
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I don't say this as a challenge; I seriously don't know what benefit comes from a poultry cold rinse. I understand the benefit of fully cooking it but what does a rinse do? Can someone educate me on this?
I have been known to rinse out a not fully defrosted turkey on T-day to remove the giblets and neck.
My bad, should of started the defrost a day earlier.:eek:

Tim
 

JeffG

TVWBB Guru
My Mother saw me washing chicken before a bbq at my place and said i'v never washed chicken before cooking it, she lived to 90 and ate chicken twice a week.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
I don't say this as a challenge; I seriously don't know what benefit comes from a poultry cold rinse. I understand the benefit of fully cooking it but what does a rinse do? Can someone educate me on this?
Its nasty, blood, fat blobs, etc. 0ccasional feathers.

Rinse crud off, then trim excess fat and skin is what i do.
Nice to see what is attached...and whats just on it. Often cut chicken is near frozen, rinse thaws that skin/fat . I rinse to clean it up.....not trying to wash salmonella off.

Cleaning ducks.....do it under running water. Get entrails out of body cavity, get down and pinfeathers out of skin...get it clean.

Same reason i rinse fish filets after cleaning them. Have blood, slime, scales, organ bits, bile, stomach contents etc. On them....nasty.
 
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Clint

TVWBB Olympian
from the safety thread:

Washing Raw Meat
http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?2531...wash-your-meat
http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?1550...re-you-cook-it

Well, since I do not buy injected meats then, yes, it is doubtful there is brine. Bone chips are visible, generally, and drying the meat with paper towels is likely to remove them. (I don't find their possibility much of a concern.) Whatever might 'smear' on the meat is unlikely to be removed by rinsing.

Bacterial contamination of intact red meat cuts, if any, will be dealt with by cooking. But bacteria can easily be spread by the act of rinsing--this is especially true with poultry cuts as their Salmonella and Campylobacter counts must be assumed to be significant. Though cooking will reduce these bacteria to safe levels if not eliminate them entirely, rinsing poultry can spread bacteria in and around the sink area as water droplets bounce off the poultry, picking up bacteria as they do, and contaminate the area. With kitchen ambient temps in a perfect range for rapid growth, these bacteria can grow quickly, setting the stage for near perfect cross-contamination potential.

From the link: "And last but not least: I double checked with random cookbooks of mine and was not surprised to find many of them containing instructions to not only wash fish, seafood and poultry, but all kinds of meat. Some of the ones I picked out are very successful basic cookbooks, others written by star-awarded chefs. Which again proves one thing: There appears to be a general lack of common knowledge when it comes to rinsing meat (either way) - do chefs care or do they not?"

Wrong question. The question is not do they care? the question is do they have a clear understanding of food safety? Most often, the answer to that question is no.

There is nothing 'wrong' with rinsing intact red meat cuts--I simply see no reason to do so and so I only dry them. Rinsing poutry should not be done unless the entire sink/counter area is immediately cleaned after rinsing as the cross-contamination potential becomes high if one does so. I simply dry poultry as well, then wash my hands.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
I, too, have had the experience of unwrapping what I thought was a thawed turkey, only to find it frozen in the cavity. In that case, you do what you have to do and carefully run some cold water in there to take care of matters. But that's an exception to the rule for me.

Obviously, in the end we each decide how we operate in our own kitchens. I don't want this to come across like a crusade for me, because it wasn't intended that way. If you're receptive to this information and choose to change your habits, good for you. If not, that's fine with me--and I will still come over to your house for a backyard chicken barbecue!
 
I, too, have had the experience of unwrapping what I thought was a thawed turkey, only to find it frozen in the cavity. In that case, you do what you have to do and carefully run some cold water in there to take care of matters. But that's an exception to the rule for me.

Obviously, in the end we each decide how we operate in our own kitchens. I don't want this to come across like a crusade for me, because it wasn't intended that way. If you're receptive to this information and choose to change your habits, good for you. If not, that's fine with me--and I will still come over to your house for a backyard chicken barbecue!
Well stated>
 

Rusty James

TVWBB Gold Member
In the end, I think disinfecting your hands is the best way to avoid a nasty bug...along with using a reliable thermometer to test for meat doneness.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
I spatchcocked a turkey the other day.

Rinsing it....was least of threat

Using the big cutting board, that dont fit in sink, unpackaging bird and dumping liquid, liquid from turkey running all over board and counter.....kitchen was biohazard zone by time it was done.

But...wipe down with rag....then disenfecting wipes...or spray bleach..no problemo.

I seriously doubt its ever been a problem in residential setting. Just like govmt reccommending to cook poultry to 165F....its extreme overkill for most.
 
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