Don’t Wash Raw Chicken

It’s nice to be back blogging again after being away for a little while, I must admit that my finger sort of itched at the sight of a keyboard during this brief hiatus.

Well, it’s like a latest food poisoning prevention tip has just been issued by the Food Standards Agency, the number one UK food safety watchdog, and to all intents and purpose it says in one sentence ” Don’t Wash Raw Chicken Before You Cook It”.

The FSA has issued a public call to stop the practice of washing chicken as part of food preparation process cuz it can spread Campylobacter bacteria around the kitchen and on to hands, work tables, and kitchen utensils through the splashing of water droplets while washing the raw chicken.

This advice makes much sense to prevent cross contamination of harmful bacteria from the raw chicken in the kitchen, which is a somewhat common occurrence that causes foodborne illness. Moreover since the chicken is going to be eventually cooked anyway, the argument is that all dangerous bacteria in the chicken will be destroyed during cooking.

I assume that in this case the kind of chicken the FSA have on mind are industrially processed and packaged raw chicken that has had all the offals/intestines removed and feathers plucked and dirts/foreign matter washed off. For such kind of chicken I agree that this “plug and play” approach being advocated by the FSA might be correct. Just buy, cook, and eat.

But in this part of the globe where we have raw chicken freshly butchered with blood flowing freely and sold by the roadside in dusty and sandy environments, washing before cooking is mandatory and a given. The care that needs to be taken is to ensure that washing the chicken is not a messy affair and after it’s done sanitizers like Milton should be applied to prevent cross contamination.

On a totally unrelated matter, I wish Nigeria Team victory tonight in the World Cup.