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Don't wash raw chicken: CDC sends food poisoning warning

Raw chicken juices can contain bacteria, including Salmonella.

As barbecue season approaches, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reminding people not to wash raw chicken because it could lead to food poisoning.

The agency sent out a reminder on its Twitter account last week about the dangers of washing raw chicken.

The CDC states that if you wash raw chicken, juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other food, utensils and countertops. Those juices can potentially contain Salmonella, Campylobacter bacteria, and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. 

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Here are other tips from the CDC for how to best handle chicken (Information lifted directly from CDC website):

  • Place chicken in a disposable bag before putting in your shopping cart or refrigerator to prevent raw juices from getting onto other foods.
  • Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken.
  • Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.
  • Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.
  • Use a food thermometerExternal to make sure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If cooking frozen raw chicken in a microwavable meal, handle it as you would fresh raw chicken. Follow cooking directions carefully to prevent food poisoning.
  • If you think the chicken you are served at a restaurant or anywhere else is not fully cooked, send it back for more cooking.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within 2 hours (or within 1 hour if the temperature outside is higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit).