Health warning: do not wash raw Chicken
Washing raw chicken before cooking it is actually doing more harm than good. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), this can spread bacteria known as campylobacter, the world’s leading cause of food poisoning.
According to FSA, washing raw chicken can splash the bacteria around kitchen work surfaces, contaminating clothes, cooking and eating utensils and leading to cross-contamination. FSA said that washing is not necessary as the bacteria can be killed through thorough cooking.
Other advices issued by FSA on proper preparation of chicken and prevention of campylobacter infection include:
- cover and chill raw chicken in a clean, sealed container at the bottom of the fridge to prevent dripping
- separate raw food from ready-to-eat food
- use different chopping boards to prepare raw and ready-to-eat food
- wash used utensils
- wash hands with soap and water before cooking and after touching raw food
Campylobacter food poisoning affects around 280,000 people in Britain each year. In a survey of 7,000 people, only 28% have heard of campylobacter. Infection by the bacteria can lead to:
- abdominal pain
- diarrhea (may contain blood)
These typical symptoms of campylobacter food poisoning can occur two days after infection and lasts up to six days. Infection is fatal to young children, the elderly and those with lowered immune system as a result of HIV or chemotherapy. It also leads to the following dangers:
- blood poisoning (septicaemia)
- liver infection (hepatitis)
- infection of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- post-infection reactive arthritis
- Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder that damages the peripheral nervous system
Do you still plan to wash raw chicken before cooking it? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and spread the warning.