Are you supposed to wash chicken before cooking? Knowing that chicken can be covered in all types of dangerous bacterial can make it tempting to give it a good wash before you toss it in a pan or throw it into the oven.
However, the Center for Disease Control has made a solid statement. Don’t wash your poultry — neither turkey nor chicken. They extended this advice to fish as well.
Some choose to soak their chicken in salt water in order to tenderize it and to kill germs. Germs on chicken can be killed when it’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, Fahrenheit. More than 25 percent of a whole chicken’s body parts carry the bacteria strain called salmonella, which makes the washing so risky.
During the washing process, the invisible bacteria spread by small water droplets that splash across arms, hands, the sink, and utensils. If you handle chicken with your bare hands, the bacteria can enter the body through a cut that you’re unaware of or beneath a fingernail as well.
Salmonella poisoning symptoms, in the event that you do get infected, begin to appear between 12-72 hours after exposure. It can take anywhere from 5-7 days to heal, and even then the strain itself can remain in the human body up to a year.
The Center for Disease also warns that certain types of poultry products are at greater risk than others to carry pesky salmonella. Food items listed as unpasteurized, kosher, or halal have not been through a heating process prior to sale, which is meant to control the spread of this bacterial before purchased by the consumer.