Am I wrong to wash chicken?

(47 Posts)
Luvoneson Thu 28-May-09 13:10:51

So sorry, this must be one of the most boring threads ever written. I always wash chicken, whether it be breasts or whole bird. My husband when cooking refuses to wash chicken as he says you dont need to. This makes me hysterical. I think it should be washed.

morningpaper Thu 28-May-09 13:12:16

your husband is right

there is far greater risk of spreading illness from splashing germs across your sink! cooking kills anything far more effectively.

Psychobabble Thu 28-May-09 13:12:40

you don't need to. All the bacteria on the chicken will be killed during cooking. All you are doing is getting the bacteria off the chicken and transferring it to your sink and hands. Better not to wash it imho.

FairMidden Thu 28-May-09 13:13:25

Current advice say don't wash it. Until I heard that, I always did too. Apparently washing just spreads any Campylobacter or Salmonella or whatever else it's harbouring all over the place.


MadreInglese Thu 28-May-09 13:13:49

No need to, the heat when cooking should be enough to zap any germs

Raw chicken should be handled as little as possible IMO, to avoid spreading germs around your kitchen

Pingpong Thu 28-May-09 13:15:14

you are wrong to wash chicken.
just remember to wash you hands after handling raw meat and avoid cross contamination from chopping boards, knives etc

Luvoneson Thu 28-May-09 13:16:44

I always wash in in a 'special chicken washing' bowl. I wash it in the sink, then after that all the bleach and disinfectant comes out to clean around. Thanks advice will stop washing.

jumpingbeans Thu 28-May-09 13:17:23

I used to wash mine, pat it dry with kitchen roll, then pick it up by its wings, let its legs dangle, and "dance" it across the worktopshock my kids used to love it, this was before anything was known about "germs", i don't do it anymore, but i did catch my ds telling his children about it

Pingpong Thu 28-May-09 13:26:40

luvoneson 'a special chicken washing bowl' are you bonkers ?????
you didn't even blush when you wrote that !!!!

jumpingbeans Thu 28-May-09 13:36:48


Psychobabble Thu 28-May-09 14:19:35

i love it when a thread starts off really mundane and then makes me pmsl. Chickens dancing on a worktop? Rofl grin

Pingpong Thu 28-May-09 15:30:54

luvoneson I'm now curious as to what you do at Christmas for the turkey? Does the turkey get a special day pass for the 'special chicken washing bowl?' grin

Cosmosis Thu 28-May-09 15:33:06

I have never heard of anyone washing chicken. You learn something new everyday.

I might start the dancing chicken though, I love that!

bellavita Thu 28-May-09 15:35:43

I always wash chicken (inside and out).

Will know in future not to do this.

foxytocin Thu 28-May-09 15:41:10

In the Caribbean people 'wash' chicken and other meats in vinegar - white cane sugar vinegar IME. Not lots of vinegar but enough to cover it when poured over and inside gently. So no slashing around teh kitchen. It also lends a specific flavour to the chicken after it is cooked.

It works almost like putting on a marinade of limejuice etc.

I think that we never had food poisoning in my house may be partly be down to this routine what with lack of or poor refrigeration at times and the heat.

Jux Thu 28-May-09 15:41:27


I remember reading in 'I capture the castle' about the girl washing some "rather dirty looking lamb chops". Made me laugh out loud. I'd never heard of anyone washing meat of any sort since then, until now - that's got to be 35 years!

foxytocin Thu 28-May-09 15:42:34

i came on this board to start a thread. hmm now you all go over to my thread and see if you can help.

Jux Thu 28-May-09 15:52:05

OK foxytocin, I've gone to your thread. Not very original but I tried.

Love the idea of a 'special chicken washing' bowl grin. What does it look like, please post a pic, loveoneson, go on you know you want to.

Jux Thu 28-May-09 15:52:53

(I mean I wasn't very original btw!)

LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 14:05:20

<whistles innocently, pretends neither DP nor I ever do this>

Now, washing mince like that fella off BB many years ago, that's crazy!

ErnestTheBavarian Fri 29-May-09 15:16:45

ooh, I always wash my chicken. Don't have a special bowl though. will abandon the practice. you learn something new every day...

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 15:21:04

Why would you wash a chicken?


Chicken-washers do you also wash other meats?

Why? But why???

ErnestTheBavarian Fri 29-May-09 15:22:13

all my instructions say wash well and pat try with kitchen roll. so I do.

Don't normally wash mince...

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 15:31:00

grin ernest I am a born instruction-follower as well.

But I've never heard this one before.

I don't understand why you would do it? In case the chicken is dirty? Wouldn't they have washed them at teh slaughterhouse if it was necessary?

Maybe I will never know...

ErnestTheBavarian Fri 29-May-09 15:40:38

1st recpe google for roast chicken "preparation

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better."

and again

Quick Pesto Roasted Chicken
User Rating Be the first to write a review
By Diana Rattray,
See More About:roasted chickenwhole chicken recipesbaked chicken

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


1 broiler or roasting chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
1/4 cup prepared pesto
fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried leaf basil and cut up lemon and/or orange, for cavity, optional
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425°.
Wash chicken and pat dry. With your fingers, separate the skin from the meat around the breast and legs. Push small amounts of pesto under the skin.........

they all say it.

maybe they're in league with Bounty Plenty or detox surface cleaner or something

LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 15:42:47

<hastily denies all meat-washing activities>

Erm, because Delia et al tell me too...

Have never washed mince though, that would be foolish smile

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 15:43:37

That second recipe sounds distinctly american...

Maybe they have dirty chiken over there grin

LeninGrad Fri 29-May-09 15:45:08

Would it be wrong to wash fish too...

<scarpers without waiting for response, anticipates huge savings on kitchen roll purchases>

Ah, veg, what about veg, eh? What say you to that?

littleducks Fri 29-May-09 15:46:54

yep wash meat here, occassioally is a fleck of faeces on a whole chicken i buy from butchers so it isnt all packaged up in cling film

cheerychapstick Fri 29-May-09 15:56:09

does it depend where you get it? I guess if you've plucked your own you might want to... Otherwise, heating it at 200 degrees or so must kill all the little nasty bits, surely.

Tho wasn't there some advice to wash poultry when that whole Bernard Matthews thing happened?

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 16:23:34

You need to wash fish cavity if you have gutted them youself...

<showy offy emoticon> grin

uberalice Fri 29-May-09 16:45:04

"a fleck of faeces". I like that, littleducks. Sounds almost like poetry. grin

Cosmosis Fri 29-May-09 16:54:01

washing mince would be a very long drawn out process methinks grin

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 29-May-09 16:55:21

A fleck of faeces facilitates flavour grin

Goober Fri 29-May-09 16:57:03


With Lynx, or Imperial Leather!

candyfluff Fri 29-May-09 21:40:56

i dont wash chicken

Since all chickens in the UK are immunised against salmonella - is this such an issue these days yes there may be smears of poo, but hey, we have children we're probably ingesting regular lumps anyway hmm

I don't even wash veggies. I reckon all the chemicals and bits of crap on them are probably actually quite balancing in the great scheme of things.

Granny used to say 'you have to eat a shovel full o shit before you die'. Meaning that the bits in the cauli etc were not to be commented on.

She's dead of course! hmm


FairMidden Sat 30-May-09 13:31:22

Does everyone buy UK chicken though? And are you sure there's nothing else to be caught from raw poultry? hmm

Chicken is still a very likely contender for food poisoning unless thoroughly cooked.

NOOOOOO Don't wash you Chicken!!!!!!!

Thats the best way to spread illness and germs, you cook a Chicken at a reasonable temp and its cooked untill all meat is white not pink, any germ will die during cooking. That is why you should also use a seperatec chopping board for Chicken and wash your hands thoroughly, you shouldn't use the same knife to chop raw Chicken and other food in the same sitting and always clean with an anti bacterial cleaner where Chicken has been placed.

mamamila Sat 30-May-09 16:22:10

i'm a chicken washer-er too

i like the idea of washing away surface bacteria

whomovedmychocolate you really made me laugh, i'm going to start using that shovel of shit expression, love it!

littleducks Sat 30-May-09 16:29:10

whomovemychocolate i have kids but im pretty certain im not eating shit, how on earth would i be?

KAEKAE Sat 30-May-09 17:04:35

I used to always wash chicken and mince! Plus any other types of meat I was about to cook!! I don't like the idea of it perhaps being dropped on a butchers floor, yes the heat will kill any germs, but what about bits of dirt and hairs? It won't get rid of that will it?!

littleducks - oh the under threes are pretty much coated in poo - they may well wash their hands but before they do they smear everything. You may think your children are clean but look and sniff closely, you will find toddlers are 90% goo of various types wink

Seriously it's not actually a bad thing, a certain amount of grot keeps your immune system ticking over.

KAEKAE Sat 30-May-09 17:27:00

Mince isn't that hard to wash...just put it in a colendar and rinse then dry well with kitchen towel. I wouldn't recommend washing it until it turns grey though.

Stinkermink Sat 30-May-09 17:43:21

Ernest if you're cooking your chicken at 450 deg, washing your chicken is the least of your worries!! Unless it's a really old cook book!

Riponite Sun 31-May-09 22:33:30

Or in my bit of Yorkshire, tha's to eat a peck o'dirt before ye die...

pecanpie Mon 01-Jun-09 20:00:26

I wash my chicken too but have anti bacterial spray to hand which I spray all over the sink and rinse off as soon as the chicken is in a cooking dish....which is probably a bit over the top...Having read this thread I'll probably stop washing.

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