Food microbiologist Jennifer Quinlan says you shouldn’t rinse chicken when preparing to cook it.
Quinlan is part of the food safety team at Drexel trying to get the word out to dinner preparers everywhere who think nothing of it when they run their uncooked poultry under the tap. She’s got some general tips for how to prep chicken for cooking.
“You aren’t killing the bacteria with the washing, and the cooking is killing anything that was on there to begin with,” she explained to Health & Science reporter Taunya English. In fact, rinsing the chicken can create aerosolization — an invisible spray that can potentially carry bacteria from the chicken for up to two feet around your kitchen.
So if you shouldn’t wash the chicken, what you supposed to do?
1. Remove chicken from packaging, and place on a cutting board2. After trimming, add your seasonings3. Transfer poultry directly to the cooking pan4. Wash cutting board — and all nearby surfaces — with hot soapy water (no need to use another kind of cleaner)5. If you have a dishwasher, give the cutting board and utensils a second chance for sanitation in the hot wash cycle
Are there any kitchen habits you perpetuate even though you know you shouldn’t — or have no idea why you do them?