The nations CDC (Centers for Disease Control) ruffled more than a few feathers this past week when they reversed a recommendation on the treatment of chicken meat before preparation. The government agency tweeted that they now advised consumers, that before cooking chicken, that they no longer wash it ahead of time.
The tweet, posted on April 26th, had as many as 1,000 comments and 1,600 retweets, with the majority of the comments weighing in on whether or not to heed the agency's advice. Just a few short days after the initial tweet, the CDC tweeted again, stating they hadn't meant to get so many individuals upset by the suggestion.
They also stated: “But it’s true: kill germs by cooking chicken thoroughly, not washing it. You shouldn’t wash any poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking. They can spread germs around your kitchen. Don’t wing food safety!”
Many of those who responded to the tweets were very insistent about following their own food safety precautions when cooking in their own homes.
Brandon Victor Dixon responded: “You sound crazy. You wash the sink, etc., after you wash the meat."
Another twitter user made the analogy of when it came to the CDC vs. our ancestors, our ancestors win hands down. The individual went on to thank the CDC anyway.
This is not to say that all the comment were against the CDC's poultry handling advice. The CDC wants to remind individuals that the advice warns that by merely washing the chicken beforehand, will not prevent illness, it has to be fully cooked to do that. The information was aimed more towards the prevention of bacterial germs being spread to those areas surrounding where the poultry was washed.
We are first to admit that food poisoning can be a most unpleasant, and in some cases deadly experience to go through. Children under 5, individuals over 65, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of developing severe, life-threatening illnesses.
The signs of food poisoning include temperatures over 101, diarrhea that lingers for more than three days, blood in the stool, prolonged vomiting, and signs of dehydration. While many will choose to do what they feel best when it comes to the preparation of poultry, the CDC thought that it needed to make sure that consumers knew that it is not about the pre-washing, but the adequate cooking of the poultry that makes it safe for consumption without any chance of food poisoning.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
If you currently do, will you still continue to wash any of your poultry or meat before cooking?