USDA, CDC warns consumers not to wash raw chicken

Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 12:12:31-04

(WTXL) — A second national organization has come forward with a study revealing that individuals are putting themselves at risk of illness when they wash or rinse raw poultry.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a study shows that when you was raw chicken the bacteria can easily spread to other surfaces and foods while you are rinsing them.

Back in April, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also put out an alert to consumers on Twitter advising people not to wash raw chicken.

The CDC said when juices from the raw poultry can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops with germs and bacteria like salmonella, campylobacter, and clostridium perfringens.

The USDA and CDC recommend these options to help prevent illness when preparing poultry, or meat, in your home:

  • Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting in your shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent raw juices from getting onto other foods.
  • Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken.
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
  • Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.
  • Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.
  • Use a good thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • If cooking frozen raw chicken in a microwavable meal, handle it as you would fresh raw chicken. Follow cooking directions carefully to prevent food poisoning.
  • If you think the chicken you are served at a restaurant or anywhere else is not fully cooked, send it back for more cooking.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within two hours (or within one hour if the temperature outside is higher than 90 degrees).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that millions of Americans are sickened with foodborne illnesses each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

More information about this study is available in an executive summary.