August 23, 2013

Don't wash the chicken.

You're going to cook the chicken, but rinsing it off while it's raw disperses germs into the air and onto various surfaces. Take a look:



What are you going to do?
  
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41 comments:

Kevin said...

You forgot, "Who even cooks a whole chicken these days or knows how to butcher one? I'm ordering pizza, cya."

Matthew Sablan said...

I initially said I would stop rinsing, now that I think about it, maybe I'll just rinse like how I rinse vegetables, in a strainer that contains all the water so it doesn't go flying everywhere, then wash the strainer like you normally would.

Bob R said...

I picked the anti-NPR option just for fun, but I generally don't rinse chicken. But if I brine a chicken I will rinse off the brine. Of course, the (animated) person in the video is making every cross contamination mistake in the book. Use a deep sink. Keep things that will be eaten raw isolated. Rinse away.

Moose said...

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4101

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

What you do is purchase non-mechanically-eviscerated air-cooled chicken, such as 'Smart Chicken', which has vastly lower pathogen loads.

You can thank Bill Clinton (he was from Tyson's Arkansas, remember, and they were big contributors)for regulations limiting E. coli contamination to 3% of whole carcasses and 4% of cut up meat ... for everything except chicken, for which the standards are 28% whole and 38% cut.

Around here whole 'Smart Chicken' sells for $2.29 per pound, and there are no necks, giblets, or permissible 6% water content. The tails are removed and there are no big fatty belly flaps.

Rocketeer said...

This doesn't definitively illustrate that rinsing chicken is somehow anti-sanitary. You know what this does illustrate, though? Sloppy rinsing.

Freeman Hunt said...

Good. I hate doing that. I'm happy that it turns out to be bad. I'll never do it again.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Any good numbers on how many people die or are sickened by chicken juice each year?

Lyssa said...

Why would you wash the chicken in the first place? It's never even occurred to me to do that (unless there was a brine or marinade to rinse off, at least).

Robert Zaleski said...

I'm more worries about what else might be on the chicken chemical wise. WASH EVERYTHING to try to get at least some of the garbage off it. I have an immune system for the bacteria.

Bryan C said...

I only wash chicken parts when if I'm coating them. I have an immune system, don't splash the Death Water all over the house, and almost never lick my kitchen sink, so I think I'll be ok.

LarsPorsena said...

You only need to wash after choking your chicken.

BarrySanders20 said...

Good God! Don't eat it! That entire chicken is one big green glowing bacteria ball!

Mmmmm. Chicken. 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup worchestershire, whatever spices you feel like (paprika, garlic, salt, pepper), marinade for a few hours, and grill for 35 minutes. A few Leinies for the cook. I think I know what's for dinner.

chuck said...

Buy a walk in oven.

Ambrose said...

I always rinse. Cooking kills germs, but it does not remove foreign materials. So if some chicken poop is on your bird and you cook it thoroughly, it is safe to eat. But do you want to eat it? It is not so hard to clean the work area afterwards.

Uncle Pavian said...

There are so many germs floating around my kitchen that dispersing a few more into the air from chicken-rinsing won't make any difference. Besides, the chicken tastes funny if you don't rinse it in diluted lemon juice before cooking.

Edward Lunny said...

If you have to wear a rain coat and safety glasses when you're using the sink......you aren't doing it right ! Geez.

Cedarford said...

I take the chicken, fully wrapped, into the family clean room and carefully inject 200 ml of full strength laundry bleach (preferably lemon scented) inside and outside the deadly item. Swish away. Spinach, hamburger, and canteloupe - the other members of the "Deadly 4 Food items"
People complain......

BUT IF IT SAVES JUST ONE CHILD'S LIFE ISN"T FOOD THAT TASTES JUST LIKE FAKE LEMONY BLEACH ALL WORTH IT?? SHOULDN'T THERE BE A LAW, FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN???

Seriously, though, any chicken, pork, etc, should be washed if it is slippery with the usual bacterial slime you find on much meat. Yeah, that stuff should never make contact with wood cutting boards or other impliments that prepare raw foods.
Down South, the answer is to deep fry anything suspect. Including old wood cutting boards I think, that they serve to Yankees and returning blacks with Northern city "attitudes", as "country fried steak planks".

I note that my experience is that the healthiest kids are farmer's kids that grew up around shit and dirt. And the sickliest that catch any bug and appear to have asthma and multiple allergies are generally those that grew up in "immaculate" homes..

Finally, for the germophobic.

1. Yes, we all know about the deadly public doorknob, bus and train seat and rails, waiting room magazine germ menaces. But are you aware that the jerk coworker that farts loudly and is expected an admiring compliment on his noisy degassing, or the discrete old lady in the main office unleashing a dozen SBDs in a day..are directly dispersing E Coli and even liquid micro aerosol fecal matter? And if you smell it, you have basically EATEN IT, BREATHED in a smidgeon of their bowel content???? Euuuuuw! Sorry, germophobics!!

2. You will always remember dogs love to eat shit, as they nuzzle you, if you are unfortunate enough to have to go into the boonies in the Middle East.
Nothing quite like being at a remote Saudi base doing your "ablutions" where there is no latrine as we understand it, but a place in the sand marked with a broken tent stake..and having 3 yellow semi-wild camp dogs show up for "Tasty Treat Time".
Whining, licking their chops, tails wagging and thumping the sand in excitement as you crap. Jockeying for the "dash to the turds". Wise dogs too, that figured out in weeks the strange Westerners new white paper they wipe with has delicious "Pate`" on it.
A little hard to argue with the Saudis, their guest workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt...about how dogs are not "haram", unclean, after that. Memories of a blood red Arabian dust sunset with a dog slurping up a 3 foot strand of toilet paper like it was spaghetti, silhouetted.

Our Western dogs are trained better, and we flush, so they can't bowl dive for treats. But it wasn't just food scraps that caused our co-evolution with dogs. They hung with us, followed us on the move heeling, awaiting those tootsie rolls from the new Alphas they served,



Sigivald said...

If the hippie ignoramuses hadn't effectively made food irradiation impossible, none of this would be a problem...

Inga said...

Seriously?! This is going to give me the fits. I am a washer, I shower that bird as if she was my child. Maybe I'll give it a bath instead and don't splash, then disinfect the sink and countertops.

Sam L. said...

I take mine into the shower and turn the exhaust fan to HIGH.

Inga said...

Come to think of it, the bath would have to end up with a shower to rinse off the nasty bath water. I really could not cook a chicken, cut up or whole without washing first, there are nasty bits inside that cavity....

Forbes said...

Germs? Germs are pretty much everywhere. Don't you clean up after yourself? Don't you clean the kitchen after cooking? My practice is to make as little mess as possible, clean as you go, then the mess that needs cleaning up is small and simple. As one says above, the video demonstrates every cross-contamination mistake possible. Silly video and message from NPR.

Rockport Conservative said...

I am a chicken rinser. I am also one who keeps a spray bottle of bleach solution on my sink and use it often. After rinsing and preparing chicken my sinks and countertops are thoroughly cleaned with soap and then the bleach solution. I am very afraid of salmonella and have been doing it for years.

El Pollo Raylan said...

This whole chicken germ PSA is starting to smell like a plot by militant vegans to gross-out and dissuade carnivores.

Someone had to say it.

gadfly said...

My Grandmother used to go out to the chicken coop, grab a hen by the neck and proceed to separate the chicken head from the rest of the bird with her axe. Next she grabbed the feet, turned the carcass upside down and scalded it in boiling water. She then picked up the dead, wet chicken and pulled the feathers off. The smell was awful, but after she removed the innards, she cooked the hell out of the bird on a large pot on top of the stove. She then made chicken gravy using the offal and prepared scratch noodles.

Yep, in the old days the bird got sanitized with hot boiling water. But the only thing that stands out in my mind was the taste of Sunday dinner.

Smilin' Jack said...

I only eat chicken in the form of McNuggets, so I'm no gourmet chef, but really, if you feel compelled to deal with a whole chicken, can't you just put it in the dishwasher? Just the light rinse cycle should do.

kristinintexas said...

I quit rinsing boneless skinless chicken breasts a while ago, but I still rinse a whole chicken because Ina Garten (I skip the fennel and add red potatoes) told me to. And I probably still will, not because I have any illusions that I'm getting germs off but because I want to get any little "nasty bits" off, like Inga said.

I love roasting whole chickens because a) they taste really good and b) I can make stock with the carcass in my crock pot. It's really really easy, basically free, and so much better than store-bought. And I love free things.

colleen cafferty said...

Someone else usually rinses the chicken, so I'll just stay away.

I am a surface freak though. For years I've been warning about cleaning fluids and such that get too near the preparation surfaces.

TML said...

Don't buy shitty, cage-raised, abused chickens and you won't have to worry about stuff like this. 95% of America has no idea what real chicken tastes like, so poisoned are they by the output of the Poultry-Industrial complex. It's a shame. Areal chicken is an amazing meal. Anyway, the animation was just insulting. Who would ever place a fully-prepped tossed salad within 4 inches of the sink's edge?

rjschwarz said...

Really? Animated bacteria spray could be easily exaggerated. The bacteria is not going to fly farther than water drops and they've got it splattering everywhere. The real message is don't wash your chicken with a fire hose.

Ken Green said...

I almost never cook a whole chicken these days anyway (I prefer to just go with legs), but I do rinse them off - in a deep sink, with the water pressure low enough to prevent massive shpritzing all over the place. Then, I blot them dry with paper towels in the sink as well.

Griff Bludworth said...

I brine, therefore I rinse.

Beldar said...

I rarely vote in your polls, Prof. A, because there so rarely seems to be an exact fit among any of your suggested choices and my own preference.

This time there was -- the final choice in the list. I'm surprisingly pleased to see it winning at the moment.

EDH said...

Why no sound on the NPR animation?

With volume turned up to 11....

Chicken carcass: "I'm gonna contaminate your slutty little apron you dirty whore!"

jaed said...

Rinsing it off moves germs from the skin to somewhere else. Rinsing it as though it's something dirty that you want to get the dirt off of will result in these germs going down the drain.

Rinsing is as though it were a toddler enjoying a bubble bath, on the other hand, will get the said germs everywhere. Including the vegetables you carefully placed RIGHT NEXT TO THE SINK to make sure they get some raw-chickeny goodness.

(I mean, think about it. Doesn't this mean you shouldn't rinse vegetables either? The germs will get everywhere! You shouldn't even rinse dirt off vegetables - the DIRT will get everywhere! On that nice clean laundry that you put RIGHT NEXT TO THE SINK! Solution: don't wash anything!)

I ask you, Althouse. If NPR said to jump over a cliff (in those nice plummy NPR voices, with those nice cultured NPR music bumpers before and after), would you do it? (Aaaand I have suddenly realized why, possibly, you like both NPR and Rush Limbaugh. They both use music bumpers!)

Dwight said...

None of the above.

What you need to do is have a semi-dry chicken if you're going to roast it (and the preparation associated with it).

If you're not careful handling raw meat in the kitchen, you have no business handling raw meat in the kitchen. Sorry, it's that simple.

Chango said...

Screw Chicken! I'm having the steak.

gwad said...

I get rotisserie chickens for $5.00 at the grocery store.

gwad said...

I like to get the $5.00 rotisserie chickens from the grocery store pre-cooked and ready to eat.

Casey said...

I've worked at more restaurants than I want to say, and I'm ServSafe certified.

NPR is full of it.