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Old 12-01-2009, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Consumer Reports: Don't Wash Raw Chicken in sink

Your Chicken Dinner Safe?
Consumer Reports Study Reveals Two-Thirds of Tested Chickens Contaminated with Pathogens
  • Play CBS Video Video Study Reveals Chicken Safety Susan Koeppen reports on the results of a Consumer Reports study of whole chickens that revealed the safety of store-bought chicken and gave some tips to prevent getting sick.
  • (CBS/AP)
  • Fast Facts Salmonella These bacteria are the most frequently reported cause of foodborne illness.
(CBS) A new study by Consumer Reports takes an in-depth look at the safety of the chickens we feed our families.

"Early Show" consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen says that Consumer Reports tested whole chickens for two types of bacteria that can make you very sick.

Consumer Reports' Chicken Findings

From the farm to the factory to the family table, chicken is one popular protein in the U.S.

But just how safe are those birds we're eating?

According to Consumer Reports' Urvashi Rangan, director of Technical Policy at Consumers Union, they're not safe enough.

Rangan told CBS News, "It's a dirty industry and it needs to be cleaned up."

Read more about Healthy Living

Consumer Reports purchased 382 raw whole broiler chickens from more than 100 stores in 22 states and tested for salmonella and a dangerous bacteria called campylobacter.

And in Consumer Reports' findings, nearly two-thirds of the chickens tested had either one or both pathogens, Rangan said.

Koeppen said 62 percent of the birds had some level of campylobacter, 14 percent had salmonella, and nine percent had both. Only 34 percent of the chickens were completely clean of both pathogens.

Rangan said, "You can't see these pathogens, so you must assume that any piece of raw meat that you're handling has some level of pathogen on it."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates salmonella and campylobacter from chicken and other foods infect 3.3 million Americans, hospitalize over 26,000, and kill more than 650 every year.

Anna Pelesh, 13, who got sick from salmonella, blames undercooked chicken tenders for her battle with salmonella.

"I think it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced," she told CBS News.

She's now a more careful eater.

"I eat anything I want," Pelesh said, "but with meat, I always check to make sure it's done to my liking."

The National Chicken Council, an organization that represents chicken producers in the U.S., said in a statement to CBS News, "Like all fresh foods, raw chicken may have some microorganisms present, but these are destroyed by the heat of normal cooking. ... The industry does an excellent job in providing safe, wholesome food to American consumers."

But Rangan says more needs to be done before chickens ever reach the American consumer.

"The government needs to take a look at what measures work, what measures don't," Rangan said, "and need to step up the standards so less contaminated birds are sold to consumers overall."

The most recent USDA tests showed lower percentages than the Consumer Reports test for both salmonella and campylobacter. It's important to note that while chicken processors must obey specific rules on salmonella, no federal standards for campylobacter currently exist.

The presence of bacteria on a chicken does not mean you will automatically get sick, Koeppen said, but there are some important tips you can follow to help protect yourself:

1. SHOPPING FOR CHICKEN
• Shop for meat last.
• Reach for meat in bottom and back of cooler
• Reach for meat with plastic bag and keep chicken in bag

2. HANDLING CHICKEN
• Don't rinse chicken in sink. Dip in pot of water and then pour out water
• Designate specific raw meat cutting board.
• Put directly into dishwasher after using.

3. COOKING CHICKEN
• Always make sure chicken is cooked to at least 165 degrees F.
• Put meat thermometer into the chicken thigh for best results.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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That is often said, yet people still do it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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i rinse my chicken in the sink. always have.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Don't rinse chicken in sink. Dip in pot of water and then pour out water
So where do you pour out the water??? I spray the sink with an antibacterial kitchen cleaner, rinse, spray again and then scrub.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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The government has been telling forever us not to wash chicken (or meat) at all. And they're right.

There's no reason to wash chicken in the first place, assuming you are going to cook it thoroughly.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:29 PM   #6
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I always have and will continue to rinse my chicken in the sink. I always sanitize the sink and anything the chicken comes in contact with anyway....I ain't dead yet or been sick from chicken.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:29 PM   #7
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The government has been telling forever us not to wash chicken. And they're right.

There's no reason to wash chicken in the first place, assuming you are going to cook it thoroughly.
it helps to defrost it some if the breasts are too frozen.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:32 PM   #8
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So where do you pour out the water???
I guess you take the pot outside and dump it on the grass!
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:34 PM   #9
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Dipping the chicken in a pot of water and then pouring the water out, I would assume in the sink is the same thing as rinsing the chicken in the sinck.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:02 PM   #10
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Dipping the chicken in a pot of water and then pouring the water out, I would assume in the sink is the same thing as rinsing the chicken in the sinck.

No, the concern is when you wash the spray/splashing action spreads the contamination by that flys around and that you may or will miss it when cleaning.
The action of pouring down drain minimizes it considerably.

The reason you don't wash is that if you cook it to proper temp the surface bacteria, etc, will be killed anyway by the heat and if you're not cooking it to that temp your exposing yourself to getting sick.

Last edited by chijim; 12-01-2009 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:03 PM   #11
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I agree about no rinsing...I just don't see how dipping it in a pot of water and then pouring water in the sink is safer.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:18 PM   #12
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I don't rinse my chicken or any other meat. If poultry needs defrosted quickly, I'll put it in a bowl of cool water and leave it in the sink. The sink, water faucet, sprayer, countertop and everything close by gets a thorough cleaning with bleach water when I'm done.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:30 PM   #13
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I do rinse my chickies in a pot/bowl of water that is located in my sink.
When everything is done meat wise I wash all surfaces touched by the meat and disinfect with bleach fer at least 5 mins.

We will not discuss whether the poultry is initially rinsed in a bleach water solution or just vinegar and water.:newangel;.

All my cutting boards look the same but I mark them ( on both sides) with magic marker as to whether it's are fer meat or veggies.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:41 PM   #14
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This reminds me of an Emeril Lagasse show several years back. He was cooking a chicken dish, and said, "You must use a separate knife and cutting board to cut the chicken, wash the counters thoroughly, wash your hands thoroughly, take out the trash that the chicken containers were thrown away in, then burn down the car that you brought the chicken home in......".
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #15
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Miss Priss - LOL!
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:48 PM   #16
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my friend always put her chicken in salt water to soak for 15 minutes, now what good does that do really?
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:50 PM   #17
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my friend always put her chicken in salt water to soak for 15 minutes, now what good does that do really?
I've seen numerous fried chicken recipes that call for soaking the chicken in salt water prior to breading it. I tried it once but didn't think it made much difference in the taste, so I didn't do it anymore.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #18
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my friend always put her chicken in salt water to soak for 15 minutes, now what good does that do really?
Removes excess blood, makes fer clearer chicky stock and purifies the meat to a certain degree.
Asians and Middle Easterners have been doing that fer centuries and it even comes up ( fer longer time frames as well) in Jewish and Islamic dietary codes.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:02 PM   #19
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Emeril use to crack me up! DH and I use to watch his show every single night! I learned so much from him.

I don't rinse meat...only whole chickens I'm going to roast and my whole turkey at Thanksgiving before and after I brine.

Why, I have no idea, except for the part about rinsing after brining.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:07 PM   #20
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So then when I want to wah my knife, do i dip that in a pot of hot water too? And then my cutting board? fresh pots of water for each, I assume. Then of course I will have to dip those pots in pots of hot water to clean them out... A person could drive hereself crazy, or she could just wash everything in the sink, under a stream of water low enough not to splash too much, and then clean the sink with detergent and hot water.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:16 PM   #21
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So then when I want to wah my knife, do i dip that in a pot of hot water too? And then my cutting board? fresh pots of water for each, I assume. Then of course I will have to dip those pots in pots of hot water to clean them out... A person could drive hereself crazy, or she could just wash everything in the sink, under a stream of water low enough not to splash too much, and then clean the sink with detergent and hot water.
Yup. And perhaps be exposed to a tiny number of germs that will help to keep her immune system healthy. You can't avoid every possible germ, no matter what you do.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:18 PM   #22
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I simply stare Death in the face and eat my chicken raw (after dabbing it behind my ears for good measure)!
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:32 PM   #23
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Bingo!

I'm just picturing someone dipping a whole chicken in the pot of water and then taking it out and dripping chicken juice everywhere.

Seems safer to me to just do it in the sink if you're going to do it at all.

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So then when I want to wah my knife, do i dip that in a pot of hot water too? And then my cutting board? fresh pots of water for each, I assume. Then of course I will have to dip those pots in pots of hot water to clean them out... A person could drive hereself crazy, or she could just wash everything in the sink, under a stream of water low enough not to splash too much, and then clean the sink with detergent and hot water.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #24
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I simply stare Death in the face and eat my chicken raw (after dabbing it behind my ears for good measure)!
And you might just be the healthiest person on this board.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:48 PM   #25
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I don't pay attention to any of these "new studies" and recommendations. Common sense in handling food, and keeping a sanitary kitchen takes care of it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:52 PM   #26
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• Don't rinse chicken in sink. Dip in pot of water and then pour out water


I think we can all agree that this statement makes no sense.


I wash it in the sink and then I thoroughly clean the sink, the counters, and all utensils used with a bleach & water spray that I keep for just this purpose. Well except for the cutting board, where I use a 50/50 peroxide & water mix so as not to harm the cutting board.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:44 PM   #27
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Apparently we need to crawl into a corner & starve to death. Sooner or later they'll find something wrong with every item we consume...

Last edited by Gunckel; 12-04-2009 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Correcting mis-spelling
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:03 AM   #28
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note to self: read more carefully before you get a "what???" look on your face.

norphan did not say "after dabbing it behind "its" ears".

I'm not healthy, but it has nothing to do with unwashed chicken ears.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:25 AM   #29
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Interesting, Chijim.
A good 25 to 30 years ago on 60 Minutes an expose on processing of chickens was done. I wouldn't eat any chicken for years and years after watching that.
I see we've come how far since that 60 Minutes expose?
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:43 AM   #30
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Interesting, Chijim.
A good 25 to 30 years ago on 60 Minutes an expose on processing of chickens was done. I wouldn't eat any chicken for years and years after watching that.
I see we've come how far since that 60 Minutes expose?

It was also in that time period where the thinking was to have less gov't involvement and let the processing plants self inspect/regulate i.e. the honor system.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:07 PM   #31
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Well, they have been wrong plenty of times. I still wash my chicken (there is yeach on it like bloody stuff and veins and things) in the kitchen sink then I clean it after.

What should we do? Dunk it in the twalette?
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:05 PM   #32
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note to self: read more carefully before you get a "what???" look on your face.

norphan did not say "after dabbing it behind "its" ears".

I'm not healthy, but it has nothing to do with unwashed chicken ears.
Not sure which statement makes me more: your's or norphan's....
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:17 PM   #33
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OH, and I wash it then brine it overnight unless I'm cooking it for my dogs. Then I just wash it and boil it.

I'm not a splasher and I keep my kitchen de-contaminated.

I'm getting more than tired of 'the Gov" telling me how to do things in my home. They need to back off and pay attention to what their job really is.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:23 PM   #34
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It's hard to take a lot of this stuff seriously when it contradicts what we've done for years without incident. I've never used a separate cuttingn board for raw meats. I just wash it in hot, soapy water. I've never gotten sick, so I can't see the point in making changes now. Apparently, what I've been doing works.

Like Koi said, the problem seems to be in the processing of chicken, more so than what we do at home. If the processing plants were held to a high standard of cleanliness, we'd all be safer.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #35
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I simply stare Death in the face and eat my chicken raw (after dabbing it behind my ears for good measure)!

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Old 12-02-2009, 03:55 PM   #36
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I'm getting more than tired of 'the Gov" telling me how to do things in my home. They need to back off and pay attention to what their job really is.
YESSSSSS!!!!!
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:32 PM   #37
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One of the reasons why we now have this mess is lack of government oversite for too long.
BTW....the washing guidelines are from Consumer Reports
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:26 PM   #38
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OH, and I wash it then brine it overnight unless I'm cooking it for my dogs. Then I just wash it and boil it.

I'm not a splasher and I keep my kitchen de-contaminated.

I'm getting more than tired of 'the Gov" telling me how to do things in my home. They need to back off and pay attention to what their job really is.
What does the government have to do with this???? Sorry, Bee, you're wrong here.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:36 PM   #39
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Actually, MsBee may be right on this one, but she's approaching the wrong end of the issue.

A food animal must be chilled very quickly after slaughter to delay decay. For chickens that is usually done by floating them in an water bath, in a process that looks like the fryer at Krispy Creme. Any bacteria that enter the water - either from the air or on a chicken - will grow and contaminate them all. Air chilling - put them in a frige - is cleaner, healthier, and more expensive. Some of the higher-priced chicken suppliers use it, but most don't.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:54 PM   #40
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I had no idea that Consumer Reports was something the government put out.

...and I highly doubt that there is something called the "Chicken Police", whose mission is to arrest people who rinse chickens in their sink.

I can see it now......

Margaret: So Helen, what are you in for?

Helen: I rinsed a chicken in my sink. I'll be released once my kids buy me a pot.
...or is it, I"ll be released once my kids buy me pot.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:40 PM   #41
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my friend always put her chicken in salt water to soak for 15 minutes, now what good does that do really?
Sounds like she brining it!
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:32 AM   #42
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For almost 50 years, I've washed my chicken with dish detergent and cool water, then rinse it several times.

I've never had a problem.

Yet.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:28 PM   #43
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One of the reasons why we now have this mess is lack of government oversite for too long.
BTW....the washing guidelines are from Consumer Reports
I totally agree with this statement. Without Government intervention and regulation, corporations try to get away with, and most of the time succeed, murder
...literally.
If you feel Government regulation and advice is not working for you, then don't comply with what they tell you...or move to a country where their system is more compatible with what you believe in.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:53 PM   #44
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I've never seen a death certificate that says, "Died from a sink-washed chicken."
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #45
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I've never seen a death certificate that says, "Died from a sink-washed chicken."
LOL Well, no, but you don't see one that says "Dead from a poorly plowed road" either. It doesn't meanit doesn't happen.

Really, common sense in how you clean the kitchen after handling raw meat should be enough.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:51 PM   #46
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I've never seen a death certificate that says, "Died from a sink-washed chicken."
The death certificate would say "food poisoning".
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #47
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I've never seen a death certificate that says, "Died from a sink-washed chicken."
Have you seen one that says food poisoning, c'mon, don't deliberately play ignorant, Ms Bee. People do die from salmonella, granted not adult healthy people, but children, and people with compromised immune systems.
At the very least, salmonella is terribly unpleasant, so why risk it?
It really is just common sense and good hygiene.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:12 PM   #48
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I've had food poisoning. I spent 6 miserable hours in the bathroom. It is definately worth the effort to prevent it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:18 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Sal Monella View Post
The government has been telling forever us not to wash chicken (or meat) at all. And they're right.

There's no reason to wash chicken in the first place, assuming you are going to cook it thoroughly.
the only time I wash chicken/turkey is if I need to rinse the guts out of the insides. If I buy it precut I never wash. I haven't died yet.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:43 PM   #50
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For almost 50 years, I've washed my chicken with dish detergent and cool water, then rinse it several times.

I've never had a problem.

Yet.
I have never heard of this before.
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