Most of us eat chicken, and many of us who eat it were told at one time or another to rinse it before cooking it. Now, we've learned that we were wrong. Oh, so wrong.
If foods have contaminants or other microbes we know to be dirty or dangerous, then washing them should always be a good thing, right?
Surprisingly, no. It's a common misconception, and here's the science to back it up.
Chicken's got some bad stuff going on. Well, un-cooked chicken does, anyway.When raw, the meat's got a fair amount of Salmonella on it, which, at the risk of stating the obvious, is bad. Which is why this person's behavior is great advice.
But there are limits to how far we should go in the name of cleanliness and sanitation.For instance, this is a little too far over the line. But it IS indicative of how we tend to approach cleaning our food, and a sort of "one size fits all" approach to food prep can have some truly dire consequences.
It stands to reason that chicken, something that has salmonella on it, would only be improved, from a health standpoint, by washing or rinsing it, right?Sorry, but that's doing WAY more harm than good. There are a few reasons why, each one of which is worth knowing on its own.
So why shouldn't we be hosing off the dangers that reside on our food?In principle, it's not that bad an idea, but the truth of the matter is that we're addressing something with an approach that doesn't work.
In the process of doing that, we're doing damage to a place we're not even thinking about.Confused? You're certainly not alone. Fortunately, the answers are simple AND convincing.
So, when we rinse off chicken, what we don't realize is where that "dirty" water ends up.From the UK's Food Standard's Agency:
“The call comes as new figures show that 44 percent of people always wash chicken before cooking it – a practice that can spread campylobacter bacteria onto hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment through the splashing of water droplets."