Washing raw chicken before cooking it seems like common sense to most people. Everybody knows that raw chicken contains bacteria that can be harmful to us. So why not be extra careful and rinse your chicken off before cooking it?
It is wise to be more cautious and rinse it off before you start cooking it. Yet, it seems that you have caused the opposite effects. Namely, the Food Standards Agency claims that the process of washing the chicken may spread the dangerous bacteria, instead of disinfecting them. The head of the study –says that washing the chicken doesn’t actually get rid of the bacteria, but it increases the risk of it spreading around. This process is known as aerosolization and it usually leaves the kitchen filled with bacteria that get sprayed around. Bacteria in raw chicken are extremely harmful and can lead to serious illnesses. For instance, the major reasons for food poisoning in North America are two different bacteria types, campylobacter and salmonella, both found in raw chicken.
Salmonella is a group of bacteria that most often lives in the birds’ intestines. If one consumes food contaminated with salmonella, he will experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In most cases, patients sick from salmonella exposure recover after a couple of day days.
Yet, the situation may get much more complicated illnesses in other cases, and may even lead to death. For instance, it can cause septicaemia or blood poisoning.
Campylobacter is the leading cause of diarrheal illness in the United States. This illness can last for up to 10 days and causes extreme abdominal pain. Certain long-term effects from exposure to campylobacter have also been reported including arthritis and the development of a rare disease called Guillan-Barre syndrome. Guillan-Barre syndrome causes muscle weakness and affects the nervous system, and roughly 40% of Guillan-Barre syndrome cases in the United States are attributed to exposure to campylobacter.
According to the Food Standards Agency, campylobacter cannot be “cleansed” through the use of water alone. In fact, washing uncooked chicken that contains this bacteria can majorly contribute to it’s spread through water particles. This means that if you wash an infected piece of chicken, you not only have to worry about the area that your chicken comes in contact with but also the area that the water you used comes in contact with. This can lead to your kitchen becoming a minefield of harmful bacteria.
According to the study – you’ll be perfectly safe if you don’t wash your chicken at all. Cooking the chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165º F will kill off any bacteria. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you don’t touch the raw chicken with any surfaces. Also remember to keep raw chicken separated from other foods.
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