LOS ANGELES - It might seem like common sense to wash your newly purchased raw chicken before cooking it, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says otherwise, and a tweet on the matter sparked a serious social media debate.
The CDC tweeted a reminder to the public on April 26 to forego washing raw chicken with water. Doing so, the CDC contends, causes more germs to spread around your kitchen from the juices inside the packaging.
While the CDC was trying to educate people on how easily bacteria can spread, some cried “fowl,” and a controversy ensued.
After a flurry of negative responses, the CDC responded to its own tweet a few days later saying, “We didn’t mean to get you all hot about not washing your chicken! But it’s true: kill germs by cooking chicken thoroughly, not washing it.”
According to the CDC, chicken juice can contaminate your counter tops, other foods and utensils.
The agency suggests using a separate cutting board when you cut your raw chicken so germs don’t infect other foods in the surrounding area, and definitely not placing any food or fresh produce on a plate or surface that previously held raw chicken.
The CDC says that Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat. In fact, according to the National Chicken Council, the average person consumed about 93 pounds of chicken in 2018 alone.
The CDC posted steps you can take on their website detailing how to properly prepare raw chicken for cooking.