Do you need to rinse your chicken before you cook it?

No, you do not need to rinse your chicken before you cook it. In fact, washing raw chicken is discouraged by food safety experts, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Rinsing chicken under tap water can cause bacteria on the chicken, such as Campylobacter and Salmonella, to splash and spread up to three feet away, contaminating kitchen surfaces, utensils, and other foods.

The safest way to eliminate bacteria on chicken is through proper cooking, not washing. Cooking chicken to the right temperature is key to making it safe to eat.

The USDA recommends cooking whole chickens, parts of chickens, and ground poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C)

measured with a food thermometer in the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.

Keep it separate: Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw chicken and other foods, or thoroughly wash them with soap and hot water between uses.

Clean up: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw chicken. Clean and disinfect any surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken.

Cook thoroughly: As mentioned, ensure chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful bacteria.

Store properly: Keep raw chicken in a leak-proof container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent its juices from contaminating other foods. If refrigerated, use or freeze it within 1-2 days.

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