The USDA says if you wash your chicken, you need to stop immediately.
A new study showed dangerous levels of contamination between bacteria from raw poultry and other foods being prepared.
Using test kitchens, the USDA observed test subjects cooking chicken thighs, then preparing a salad.
When subjects washed the chicken, 26% transferred bacteria to the ready-to-eat lettuce, most didn't attempt to clean the sink in between, but even when they did 14% were still contaminated.
So what can you do? The USDA says prepare food that won't be cooked- like salads- before handling raw meat, thoroughly clean and sanitize surfaces that have potentially been contaminated, and if it's raw, never rinse.
The USDA also says you should cook meat and poultry to a safe internal temperature. That's 165 degrees for poultry,160-degrees for burgers, and 145-degrees for beef, pork and lamb.
- USDA: If you wash your chicken, stop immediately
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