Health authorities are warning consumers again of the announced risks of washing raw chicken.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) wrote on Twitter on April 26 that washing poultry could spread hazardous bacteria around to other foods, utensils, and kitchen items. The statement was followed by a guideline that is aimed to help eliminate the chances of food poisoning.
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 26, 2019
The CDC noted that: “Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat, chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning.”
The message on Twitter sparked many heated comments, many people finding the statements made by CDC to be extreme.
The most liked tweet said: “So we’re suppose to just ‘cook off’ all that gunk from it sitting in a maxi pad for god knows how long? Eating left over feathers and bone dust 🤢🤮. I’ll continue washing mine and not getting sick from ‘spread germs.’ Y’all enjoy.”
So we’re suppose to just “cook off” all that gunk from it sitting in a maxi pad for god knows how long? Eating left over feathers and bone dust 🤢🤮. I’ll continue washing mine and not getting sick from “spread germs”. Y’all enjoy.
— Autumn (@MissAuty_Baby) April 26, 2019
To the outburst of negative and sometimes mocking comments, the CDC responded on the Twitter platform:
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. You shouldn’t wash any poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking. They can all spread germs around your kitchen. Don’t wing food safety!
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 29, 2019
Some other Twitter users had more faith in the agency: “The comments are killing me. 🤣These are people that handle Ebola but folks can’t trust their advice on handling poultry? ” one user said.
The organization recommends putting the raw chicken in a single-use bag before placing the product on the cart or the fridge, washing hands with soapy water after handling and using a separate cutting board to prepare it.
The CDC responded by saying that not only should poultry not be washed before cooking, but also meat and eggs should not be washed, since they can also splatter germs around. People were again encouraged to rely on the heat of the cooking to do away with the germs instead. The CDC also recommended using a food thermometer to ensure a safe temperature for the cooking chicken, which is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can find the whole article published by the CDC here.
Step away from the sink with that raw chicken. https://t.co/svTY3313YP
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 2, 2019
Did you know that Americans eat more #chicken than any other meat? Get #foodsafety tips for handling and preparing chicken. Here’s a starter: Don’t wash raw chicken before cooking it: https://t.co/CNg0JJ090k pic.twitter.com/VQTugu6Hxk
— foodsafety.gov (@foodsafetygov) April 29, 2019