Stop! Don’t wash your raw chicken just like you wash all other food items before you cook them. Yes, you read it absolutely right. Washing raw chicken can make you and your family members fall sick of tummy pain, severe diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and sometimes it might make you vomit for 2 to 5 days continuously. You might laugh us off at this moment wondering how can washing any food item cause such tummy related diseases? So, to clear all your doubts we have put together advises of researchers who have through their research found out that washing raw chicken is more harmful to the human being than not washing it.
It is found out that raw chicken or chicken with skin contains campylobacter bacteria or salmonella bacteria which have the potential to increase the risk of food poisoning. When you wash the raw chicken the water that splashes while washing carries campylobacter along with it and has the potential to increase the risk of food poisoning as the bacteria comes into contact with food items that are nearby the sink in the kitchen.
It is estimated by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that nearly 3000 people in the US die every year from foodborne diseases. Though common sense tells you to wash the raw chicken because it contains that causes food poisoning, that is one of the disastrous things you could do.
There’s an online campaign by the name – Don’t Wash Your Chicken. On visiting their website, we found this, “If germs were visible to naked eye, you would see that washing poultry just splashes bacteria all over you, your kitchen towels, your countertops and any other food you have nearby, such as raw foods or salads. This can make people sick, especially young children, pregnant women, older adults and the immunocompromised”.
It is found out through research that water droplets splashing from washing the chicken can travel more than 50cms in all direction and only a few salmonella bacteria are needed to cause food poisoning. Do remember – neither cold nor warm water or fruits acids have the power to kill those bacteria.
The only way to kill those dangerous bacteria is by exposing raw chick to heat. You have to cook the chicken until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You also have to make sure that no part of the chicken has pink spots and the whole of chicken is cooked thoroughly. Again, whether its grilled, fried, baked, slow cooked or by any other means it’s the heat that has the power to kill all the bacteria.
You might be wondering how to store the chicken and what are the other precautions you need to take so that you and your family members stay safe and not get affected by the dangerous bacteria. Well, we have listed few precautions which if followed correctly, will ensure that none of you will get affected and most importantly you need not think twice before consuming your favorite chicken meal.
Ways to prevent food poisoning from Campylobacter Bacteria
- Wrap raw chicken and chill it – Yes, the most important precaution is to wrap the raw chicken tightly and keep it at the bottom of the refrigerator to get chilled. Make sure no droplets from other food fall on it and neither the reverse happens.
- Cook the chicken instead of washing it -It’s the exposure to heat that kills all the bacteria and not washing. Washing would result in bacteria flying from raw chicken to other food items along with water droplets that splashes while washing the chicken.
- Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly -Make sure you thoroughly wash everything that comes into contact with raw chicken. Wash your hands and utensils with soap and warm water after handling the raw chicken. This will make sure the bacteria will not spread in wayward directions.
- Cook Chicken thoroughly – The chicken that you serve should be steaming hot all the way through and should have clear juices and no pink meat left. Cut the chicken into pieces of your liking and make sure that there’s no pink meat left in the chicken. If you can get access to one, you can also check whether the chicken is heated up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the recommended level to kill all the bacteria.