Don’t wash your chicken! Just unwrap, cut and cook

A woman with raw chicken Photo:  Luz, Flickr

A woman with raw chicken
Photo: Luz, Flickr

Adapted from The Province

Level 3

In North America we eat a lot of chicken. Each North American eats about
80 pounds of chicken a year.

Eating and handling chicken can cause you to get sick.  You must cook it well
and handle it carefully.

Researchers at Drexel University started a project called
Don’t Wash Your Chicken. It is safer to put the chicken
directly in the pan to cook it.

Chicken and turkey carry harmful bacteria called salmonella.
Washing your chicken can splash water on the counter and other dishes.
The water is contaminated with these bacteria.

Around 200,000 people get sick from these bacteria every year.
They get diarrhea, fever, cramps and vomiting.

What should you do?

  1. Store the chicken in double plastic bags.
  2. Unwrap the chicken and place it directly in the pan.

    Raw chicken breast that is ready to cook. Photo:  YoAmes, Flickr

    Raw chicken breast that is ready to cook.
    Photo: YoAmes, Flickr

  3. Cook the chicken to the internal temperature of 75C or 165F.
    Check the temperature with a meat thermometer.
  4. Wash all surfaces, dishes, and the thermometer with soap and water.
  5. Wash your cutting board in hot soapy water or put it in the dishwasher.
  6. After touching raw chicken, wash your hands with soap and
    water for at least 20 seconds.
Photo: Suminb, Flickr

Photo: Suminb, Flickr

Watch this video.
Click here to watch a video on how germs scatter when you wash a chicken.
Don’t wash your chicken!  The video is called Germ-Vision Animation.

Listen to this radio show.
Click here to listen to a NPR radio story about washing raw chicken.
Julia Child was wrong: Don’t wash your raw chicken, folks!

Pronounce these words.
How do you say “salmonella”?
Click here to listen to emmasaying.com
Click here to listen to howjsay.com

Now you try to say it.

How do you say “contaminated”?
Click here to listen to howjsay.com

Now you try to say it.

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