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why wash chicken

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I always wondered, why do we wash chicken?
Is there any germ on chicken that washing in cold water could possibly kill or eliminate???
Once it's cooked, whether the butcher had a skin disease or the chicken had salmonella or the cutting board had something else, does washing it in cold water do any good at all? And more to the point, don;t we risk spattering things with dirty chicken water, if anything? I mean, if I touch raw chicken, i wash well with soap. Not plain cold water! anyone out there who can elucidate me?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #2 of 26
I like to rinse it out only to ensure there's not big glops of congealed blood or excess bloody water pooled around . . .

other thoughts:
/q
Rinsing or Soaking Chicken
It is not necessary to wash raw chicken. Any bacteria which might be present are destroyed by cooking.
/uq

see add'l info:Focus On: Chicken
post #3 of 26
isnt it something like 1;10,000 chickens carry the actual salmonella bacteria?

ive never washed chicken unless its come out of a brine.... cross contamination is such a big deal to look out for.
post #4 of 26
I rinse off all meat before I cook it. There might be some lingering debris on it like bits of bone, you never know.

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post #5 of 26
These are areas that can be excellent growth media for bacteria, especially at the right temperatures. By rinsing and removing these you will be reducing the total number of bacteria present.

Many bacteria release chemicals that are considered toxins which may not be neutralized by the cooking process. Rinsing prior to cooking will reduce or dilute the levels of any such toxins to levels that may not have an affect on humans.

Interesting to note that the USDA site linked to makes a statement to the effect that food bourne bacteria do not enter the human body through cuts. Personally I would like to see the proof of that.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
This makes some sense, though i would think if the meat is fresh, those bacteria haven't had the time to work. In the case of a whole chicken, the inside is probably the most at risk. But the skin of a chicken leg? I would think that if the chicken is not old enough to have gone bad, there would be no toxins on there, of the "food poisoning" type. Also i only read to wash chicken, not beef for instance, certainly not hamburger, the most likely to get food poisoning toxins. I imagine they say chicken because of the risk of salmonella. But it seems to me that washing it, in the unlikely event that the chicken is infected with salmonella, would be irrelevant since it will be cooked anyway, and in any case, even if not cooked enough inside, the skin will certainly be well cooked.
Since it's a particularly annoying process to wash chicken, because i have to use a half a roll of paper towels if i want to dry it well enough to make it brown, and because i have an irritatingly small sink (they don;t make 'em big here) there seems to be more likelihood that i spash chicken water on my salad or something, than eliminate some problem inherent in the chicken.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #7 of 26
There are good bacteria and bad bacteria, the bad guys are called pathogenic bacteria. They are present on all raw meat and are safe to humans in very small quantities ie; when the meat is fresh. If they are allowed to multiply in number they can cause food poisoning.

Cooking destroys most of the pathogens but never all of them which is why, once the meat is cooked they will start to multiply again. I always check the meat for bone, feathers or anything else but I certainly dont wash it. I don't see the point of sloshing bacteria all around my sink or chlorinating my bird and getting water into it.

I am a stickler for hygiene and food safety and am always very careful with raw meat and fish but I think this is a more logical approach and much less of a risk in a busy kitchen.
post #8 of 26
I rinse mine to get any blood out of the carcass, if it was frozen to get rid of any ice that may be in the cavity and finally to help me in flushing foreigndebris that may have not been forced out during the processing. My mother on the other hand rinses/soaks hers in a water vinegar solution because as she likes to say "it kills all the crap left behind from when they butcher them." I've asked her several times and she always says the same thing.
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Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #9 of 26
I always rinse my chicken, since I have found foreign objects and blood on the chicken a few times. I like to have it completely clean before cooking.
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post #10 of 26
Siduri,
I was thinking that there had been a string about this a few years back. After a search I found that I was the one who'd actually begun the string :D . Since few if any of us would knowingly undercook chicken (chicken sashimi not being high on my personal list), washing seems to be more of a personal twitch.
By the way, I still wash chicken just because the thought of not doing it bothers me.

Here's the old string: http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/food-...-chickens.html
Emily

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Emily

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post #11 of 26
This is from the USDA;

Rinsing or Soaking Chicken
It is not necessary to wash raw chicken. Any bacteria which might be present are destroyed by cooking.

And this is from the UK equivelent the FSA;

Don't wash your turkey (or other poultry) – this is because bacteria can splash onto worktops, dishes and other foods. Proper cooking will kill any bacteria, so you don't need to wash poultry.


This year a survey carried out by the Agency revealed that 80% of people in the UK were washing their turkeys before cooking. As you will hopefully be aware, washing raw meat can splash food poisoning bacteria around the kitchen, onto surfaces, utensils and chopping boards. In 2002 an Agency study looking at the risks associated with handling raw meat found that when washing raw chicken in the sink, water droplets travelled up to 70cm.

I am not saying that rinsing poultry is a bad thing, but clearly not rinsing poses a lesser risk. In answer to the OP most people 80% apparenlty do wash poultry but it is not necessary.
post #12 of 26
I always wash all meats and chicken. I just like the idea of getting the blood off or giving it a quick refreshing...makes me feel better.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Bazza, this is what i was looking for. I hate washing chicken, and being a messy person, i certainly tend to spash, and it never made much sense for something you're going to cook anyway. But i wanted to be sure there was no good reason to do it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 26
In most cases the chicken goes bad because of its own blood, which goes rancid first. This is why in the Jewish Faith they Kosher. By pouring salt on the inside, letting it sit a while they draw out any bad blood that may have accumulated ,It is then rinsed in cold water. Then cooked till 165f. Keep in mind that todays chicken is a far cry from the ones hanging in the windows of the local butcher shops that our grandparents new. They were not evisarated and in a lot of cases kept over 40 degrees F in Iceboxes.
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post #15 of 26
Yes, but it can be transmitted to thousands more, like Typhoid Mary all you need is one carrier.:eek:
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post #16 of 26
Contrarily, all poultry contains not only salmonella bacteria, but campylobacter and several other nasty little pathogens.
Washing in cold water makes absolutely no difference as these bacteria exist not only on the skin and surface areas, but inside the flesh as well.

For the reasons stated by the USDA and quoted by Bazza, I do not wash any poultry, as my sink is small and splashing onto counter tops and other utensils is unavoidable. I do, however, wipe it off with some paper towels to get rid of blood, ice, excess juices and those strange little oogledy parts that seem to always be hanging out on the chicken.

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post #17 of 26
"strange little oogledy parts?!!!

:lol:

That describes them rather well :D
Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #18 of 26

Chicken (and some other meat products) have a slimy, bacteria laden surface. The experts who say not to wash are mistaken. The method for washing is, however, important. My method comes from a traditional way to clean and cook chicken used in China for centuries.

Step 1. add warm water to a large bowl, add vinegar and /or salt. Place bowl in sink.

Step 2. touch chicken for the first time, removing wrapper to trash, and place chicken in bowl with as little motion and hand contact as possible, keeping one hand clean.

Step 3. turn on warm water and have soap ready; wash all surfaces of chicken by hand in bowl, then remove from bowl and wash chicken and hands under warm running water, then place on meat-only cutting board.

Step 4 rewash hands, the bowl and all surfaces of sink with soap and water.

Step 5. select pan, cut or prepare chicken and place in pan.

Step 6 rewash hands, knife, cutting board, and any other surfaces or utensils.

Step 7 cook chicken.

 

Seems complicated, but after a couple of times it has a logical order and is easy.

post #19 of 26
I never wash chicken either because of droplet splashes

In work it's gloves all the way when handling it, even when the filets arrive fresh in sealed bags

Both on home or work I don't touch anywhere else untill either hands are washed or gloves changed

No dishes or knives used on raw chicken are washed with any other dishes

Having had salmonella poisoning as a child I try my best not to get it again or give to anyone else. So far I've succeeded the past 40 years
post #20 of 26

I never wash chicken or other meat for that matter.  I just wipe it down well with a paper towel and a little vinegar if need be.  Cooking will kill all bacteria and there is no cross contamination. 

post #21 of 26
What about debris and little feathers?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by weshelor View Post
 

Chicken (and some other meat products) have a slimy, bacteria laden surface. The experts who say not to wash are mistaken. The method for washing is, however, important. My method comes from a traditional way to clean and cook chicken used in China for centuries.

Step 1. add warm water to a large bowl, add vinegar and /or salt. Place bowl in sink.

Step 2. touch chicken for the first time, removing wrapper to trash, and place chicken in bowl with as little motion and hand contact as possible, keeping one hand clean.

Step 3. turn on warm water and have soap ready; wash all surfaces of chicken by hand in bowl, then remove from bowl and wash chicken and hands under warm running water, then place on meat-only cutting board.

Step 4 rewash hands, the bowl and all surfaces of sink with soap and water.

Step 5. select pan, cut or prepare chicken and place in pan.

Step 6 rewash hands, knife, cutting board, and any other surfaces or utensils.

Step 7 cook chicken.

 

Seems complicated, but after a couple of times it has a logical order and is easy.

 

 

I have been doing it wrong for 30 years, my chicken has been missing the warm water bath with dish soap and vinegar.

I might blot one dry with a paper towel if needed and inspect for mis-plucked feathers but that's it.

Commercial chicken is processed in a very strict USDA controlled plant, not on the dirt floor of grandma's barn.

By all means you need to wash everything that the chicken comes in contact with while preparing. Leave the dish soap for the utensils, not the bird.

post #23 of 26
The poster said to have soap ready, not to wash the chicken with soap. The poster seems passionate about it and who are we to judge? I think it's fascinating.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by weshelor View Post
 

 The experts who say not to wash are mistaken.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

The poster seems passionate about it and who are we to judge?

 

The question should be: who is HE (weshelor) to judge?! 

post #25 of 26
post #26 of 26

LOL - go Alton

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