Does Rinsing Your Chicken Help Prevent Contamination?

Should you rinse raw chicken before cooking it?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rinsing raw chicken may remove some bacteria from the surface, but the only way to ensure that all bacteria are killed is through proper cooking. Plus, when you rinse the chicken, meat juices can splash into the sink and onto the counter and contaminate other items. In our tests, we’ve found no flavor difference between chicken that was rinsed and chicken that wasn’t rinsed before cooking.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Rinsing chicken is unnecessary and can cause problems; the USDA, FDA, and CDC advise against it, and so do we. 

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