Washing raw chicken is bad, says CDC & Latina moms everywhere freak out

washing raw chicken

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently tweeted a warning that we should not be washing raw chicken before cooking it, because doing so spreads germs that can cause food poisoning all over your kitchen that you might miss cleaning afterward. Therefore, you are doing more harm than good when you wash raw chicken.

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So many of us grew up watching our mamás wash raw chicken before cooking it, and so we grew into adults who wash raw chicken before cooking it because raw chicken is gross, and it wouldn't occur to us not to. That's why it isn't surprising that so many people reacted with horror to the food safety warning from the CDC. It's kind of hilarious how passionate people are about washing their raw chicken!

In late April, the CDC sent out this tweet.

"Don't wash your raw chicken! Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen." The tweet also links to an article that gives more information related to chicken and food poisoning.


People started freaking out immediately and tweeting responses.

This response is just one of the many horrified reactions that followed. Granted, store-bought raw chicken does have a kind of thick liquid gunk on it from the juices it's been sitting in, but "feathers and bone dust" seems a bit out there, unless you're buying your chicken from some shady source.


This is what the CDC means about spreading germs.

You know how when you sneeze, the gunk coming out of your mouth can travel really far distances even though you can't see where it goes? Well, that's kind of what happens when you wash raw chicken. The germs get on your clothing and splatter around all over the place. You can't see them because they're not like big globs of water or anything, but this video gives you an idea of what happens.

Also, can we give the CDC a tiny bit of credit?

This Twitter user is totally right. If the CDC is telling you to be careful, just be careful, yeah? It is issuing this warning for a reason. 


At least the CDC has a sense of humor.

When the CDC saw how "hot" everyone got, it came back with an amusing response. Washing poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking is never recommended. Instead, you're supposed to kill any germs by cooking food properly and to the recommended temperatures.

This information about not washing your raw chicken isn't even new. We told you about it back in 2013, and devoted chicken washers got all angry about it back then, too. Someone should start a door-to-door chicken washing service that will drive up to your home and wash your chicken in a special chicken-washing van so that you can still have a washed raw chicken without spreading the germs around your kitchen. That way, both the CDC and chicken washers everywhere can be happy.

Topics: chicken  food  food safety  food tips