The real chicken debate: To rinse or not to rinse?


Everyone may be busy sampling the latest chicken sandwiches, but we have bigger questions, such as: to rinse or not to rinse?

This is a debate that has died down time and time again, but never fails to return: should you rinse your chicken before cooking or just throw it in the pan (after seasoning, of course)? Depending on your background, culture, and cooking preference, you may already be set on a hard yes or no when it comes to washing raw chicken meat before cooking it, but others simply aren’t so sure.

Many just throw it in the pan, even without seasoning. The horror, right? But others wash it and properly prep it. Now, I understand the prep. Don’t be grossed out about touching it! This is a necessary step if you know what you are doing. After all, you want it well seasoned, don’t you?

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The question here is — should rinsing raw meat be a step you should skip over? Let’s go to the CDC to find out! According to CDC’s food poisoning page, washing raw meat, specifically chicken is NOT recommended. Listed as the third step to consuming safe and healthy meat the page states:

"“Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.”"

The site even prevents provides a video to demonstrate how washing chicken can spread germs: 

The better and proper way to prevent germs is to properly cook the chicken. Which hey, makes sense to me! After all, rinsing it can’t possibly get rid of the germs, but rather just splash them around. However, don’t forget to play it safe and only use the bowls and cutting board you’re using for the raw meat for that purpose only.

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Where do you stand on this? Do you rinse or do you get straight to the preparation without the washing? If so, have CDC’s video and recommendation changed your mind about it?