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Preparing chicken safely

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    Posted: 25 February 2012 at 04:31
Here's some food for thought!

Washing Raw Chicken Increases Food Poisoning Risk

by Jennifer Lawinski, Posted Jul 26th 2010 @ 2:00PM


You might want to think twice before rinsing off raw chicken in your kitchen sink. 

Recent studies by the British Food Standards Agency show that rinsing chicken can potentially spread bacteria on work surfaces in a three-foot radius, The Daily Telegraph reported. The report says up to 75 percent of consumers wash poultry before consuming it.

The FSA says 65 percent of raw chicken is contaminated with campylobacer, the most common cause of food poisoning, the paper reported. And while cooking will kill the bug, Campylobacter causes more than 300,000 cases of food poisoning and 15,000 hospitalizations a year in England and Wales. 
That means washing your bird can spread harmful bacteria around your kitchen, potentially contaminating other foods in your kitchen that may not be cooked before eating.


The FSA is looking into ways to reduce contamination across the chicken production line, including disinfecting chickens with an antimicrobial wash -- a method not yet approved in the EU.

"Washing raw poultry is a common kitchen mistake, and it simply isn't necessary," an FSA spokeswoman told the Telegraph.

"Tap water won't get rid of the germs that cause food poisoning but they will be killed by thorough cooking. By washing your raw bird, you're actually more likely to spread the germs around the kitchen than get rid of them."

Read more: http://www.slashfood.com/2010/07/26/washing-raw-chicken-increases-food-poisoning-risk/#ixzz0x8Ykay8z
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2012 at 06:48
I have never read a more ludicrous interpretation of food safety in my life.
 
I don't understand how washing a chicken will spread harmful bacteria to other parts of the kitchen.
 
In all cases, harmful bacteria are found on the exposed surfaces of the bird. Washing, it's true, won't kill them. But it helps flush many of them away, thus reducing the chances of contamination. The flushed bacteria get washed down the drain.
 
Washing chicken, per se, probably has no effect on either the safety or quality of the finished dish. But if somebody is more comfortable washing a bird, I don't see any problem with doing it.
 
If we are to believe that article, then there's no point to washing cutting boards after using them for chicken, because doing so will spread the germs.
 
Anybody here believe that last statement? The fact is, the largest cause of home food poisoning in America is poor sanitation practices in the use of cutting boards.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2012 at 02:59
I have mixed feelings about this one myself. The gist of it seems to be that as you wash your chicken under running water you are splattering water in a circle of approximately three feet. Most people will not disinfect that three foot circle like they would a cutting board...they may wipe it quickly with a towel thinking it's just water, but would not clean it properly. Then while the chicken goes into the oven...out comes the ingredients for the salad, and gets put on the counter beside the sink while being prepped.....instant cross-contamination.

I'm not necessarily advocating this position...just reporting on it and hoping we can inspire some folks to think twice when preparing their poultry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2012 at 06:15
I'm still having trouble envisioning this.
 
They're saying that with a chicken in the sink, or even held up under the running water, that you splash in a 3-foot circle? I have to wonder just how sloppily the researches wash things.
 
If I were to wash a chicken (which, btw, I don't do) in my right-hand sink, then I'd be spattering water all the way to the drainboard, on the left, across my cutting board and onto the stove on the right, and both me and the kitchen floor would be sopping wet.
 
Forget chicken. How would any of us ever wash anything if we spattered like that?
 
I'm not familiar with that British group. But this really sounds like the USDA; take a theoretical problem, treat it as if it were real, and then issue dire warnings about it.
 
I'd like to see the raw data on this one, to see how many instances there were in which that three foot circle actually occured, and how much cross-contamination based on actual sickness there was.
 
Slightly OT, but on the subject of cross-contamination: I'm really amused by the TV celebrity chefs and cooks who make a big deal about washing their hands, particularly after handling meat proteins. But watch what happens. The get their hands full of chickeny stuff. Walk over to the sink. Turn on the water. Wash. Turn off the water, using the same facet they used to turn it on.
 
The sequence is: cutting board to hand. Hand to faucet. Wash hand. Hand to faucet coated with chickeny residue.
 
This practically defines cross-contamination. Just once I'd like to see one of them clean the faucet.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2012 at 16:11
That drives me crazy too Brook...and they never even use soap! They do a quick rinse that doesn't clean a damned thing LOL. 

Well, I made this post in order to stimulate a little conversation and discussion, so I guess it was successful...by the way...I don't wash my chicken either.Wink
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