Why You Shouldn’t Wash Raw Meat And Poultry Under Running Water

In general, people associate washing with hygiene and cleanliness. We wash our hands and bodies, our dishes, clothes, bed linen, cars, etc. Thus, it’s only logical to think that we should wash raw meat as well, to make it safer and cleaner for eating, right?

With the idea that washing destroys bacteria, many people wash raw meat before cooking. But, on the contrary to the general belief, this does not destroy the bacteria. Instead, it may contaminate the surrounding surfaces and lead to foodborne diseases.

Why You Shouldn’t Wash Raw Meat And Poultry Before Cooking

Washing raw meat and poultry in the sink, under running water, is a really bad idea.

Let us start with the fact that some bacteria are so tightly attached to the meat, that they cannot be removed, regardless of how many times you wash it. Then, there are types of bacteria that are easily removed and transferred to other foods, dishes, utensils and surrounding area. And, if you don’t clean the contaminated surfaces afterwards, you increase the risk of spreading foodborne diseases.

Reading the above, it’s clear that bacteria don’t disappear when you put the raw meat or poultry under water. Water does not remove bacteria. Instead, it only disperses them. In addition, water molecules can transmit salmonella and campylobacteria, two of the most common causes of foodborne health problems.

Instead of washing, scientists advise housewives and cooks to simply put the raw meat in the oven or in a cooking pot, and cook it. The only effective way to destroy bacteria is exposing them to high temperatures, which means, through roasting and cooking of the meat.

Here we show you an animated video, which depicts how bacteria spread on surrounding surfaces when you wash raw meat under running water.

Washing Food: Does it Promote Food Safety?
Don’t Wash Your Chicken! Germ-Vision Animation

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