Huge debate sparked after woman says she doesn’t wash her chicken before cooking

To wash chicken or not to wash chicken? This is the question that many have been asking themselves after a woman sparked debate on social media.
People were arguing about whether or not you should wash your poultry before cooking it after a post on the Slow Cooker Recipe & Tips Facebook page.

The post was from someone who had watched a TikTok showing a woman cooking a chicken, without washing it first.

The person wrote on Facebook: “Here in the UK it’s common knowledge that washing the chicken is futile as the bacteria splashes about and cooking the chicken removes the bacteria and salmonella anyway…

“But the comments section went crazy and loads of people were slating her for not washing the chicken. So my question is, do you wash your chicken? And why? Who told you to?”

I was scrolling on tiktok last night and a lady cooked some chicken and didn't wash it first. Now here in the UK it's...

Posted by Slow Cooker Recipe & Tips on Friday, February 23, 2024

This prompted many to give their opinion on chicken-washing, with one person writing: “I’ve never washed any meat or poultry in my life.

“I’m still standing here typing this answer and I’ve never been sick from not washing meat or poultry … Soooo.”

Another said: “No need to wash. Cooking will kill any bacteria. Just make sure you wash your hands and anything the chicken touches.”

Some did reveal that they wipe the bird down with some kitchen roll, but the majority seemed to agree that washing the meat was a waste of time.

The perception is that this is a bit of an American trend, but one woman from “the southern part of the US” said she had “never washed” chicken.

Someone else suggested it was part of Caribbean culture to wash chicken with “lemon/lime and white vinegar,” and that her family had done this for generations.

And there were some Brits who admitted to giving their chicken a scrub.

One person wrote: “I’ve always washed my chicken as taught by my mum.”

“I wash it just to get a slimy feeling off and any feathers off which is not common now but still happens time to time,” another said.

If you’re looking for some official advice on whether or not to wash your raw meats, the Food Standards Agency is quite clear on the matter: don’t.

This is because washing meat and poultry “does not kill bacteria but it can splash harmful bacteria around the kitchen, contaminating sinks, taps, surfaces and ready-to-eat food.”

They add that thorough cooking of meat will kill any bacteria present.

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