UK consumers still washing whole chicken –they shouldn’t, cross-contamination risk

An estimated three quarters of consumers who buy whole chickens wash them, potentially spreading bacteria on to work surfaces for up to a 3ft radius, research by Which? has revealed.

The Telegraph reports the most recent figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggest that 65% of raw shop-bought chicken is contaminated with campylobacter.

And while most government agencies now advise against washing chickens, cookbooks and Internet recipes are full of it (bad advice and poop).

An FSA spokeswoman said,

”Washing raw poultry is a common kitchen mistake, and it simply isn’t necessary. … By washing your raw bird, you’re actually more likely to spread the germs around the kitchen than get rid of them.”

Here’s another common kitchen mistake, courtesy of the FSA: piping hot is not a food safety indicator and color is a lousy indicator. Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.