Never Wash Raw Chicken

It can spread food-poisoning bacteria up to 80cm from your sink.

You should never wash raw chicken as it can spread food poisoning bacteria like Campylobacter around your kitchen. That spray can reach up to 80cm, or an arm’s length, from your sink. These bacteria can land on anything that’s near your sink, like clean dishes drying, other food, utensils, chopping boards…

When you cook chicken properly, you kill all the harmful bacteria, so washing chicken really doesn’t do any good. In fact, it might actually cause some harm.

We know cross-contamination from raw poultry and meat is one of the main causes of food poisoning at home. And one of the simplest ways people can protect themselves and their family is by following some basic steps when handling raw meat and poultry – never wash raw chicken but do wash your own hands and any utensils you use when preparing chicken. And if you’re washing raw chicken containers before recycling them, rinse them in warm soapy water and ensure that you limit any “spray” of water. It is always a good idea to sanitise your surrounding counter tops after you wash these containers.

So be safe, protect your family and never wash raw chicken.

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Who are most at risk?

Food poisoning can range from the very mild to very severe, depending on what bacteria has caused it. And while the symptoms can vary, those most at risk are children aged under 4, pregnant women, the elderly and those with an underlying medical condition. So why take a risk when it’s so easy to avoid it by following some basic hygiene steps in the kitchen?

What is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter is a bacterium which naturally occurs in many animals and is the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning on the island of Ireland. In 2017 there were 4,207 reported cases of Campylobacter infection but the real figure is probably much higher. Poor handling or preparation of raw poultry and meat is one of the main reasons for food poisoning at home but it doesn’t have to be like that – following some basic food steps in the kitchen can protect you from food poisoning bacteria like this.

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