Don’t rinse raw chicken

The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency has issued a nationwide cease and desist when it comes to running raw chicken under the faucet before preparing it. The reason? Doing so effectively contaminates everything within a 3-foot radius of your sink. When you rinse raw chicken, tiny water droplets actually bounce off the meat in every which way, carrying with them raw chicken juice, which is known to contain a host of dangerous microorganisms. The main concern is a little bacteria called campylobacter. This little guy is extremely dangerous and fond of hitching rides on errant water droplets. Not good news for anyone who happens to rinse raw chicken and also value their health.

Campylobacter infection
In a video released by the FSA, the monitoring agency warns of the potential dangers of ingesting campylobacter bacteria. It is listed as the No. 1 cause of food poisoning in the UK and yet few have even heard of it. Those who have been exposed to the bacteria have reported extreme cases of abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Advanced cases can even go so far as to cause nerve damage and trigger auto-immune diseases. In order to prevent exposure to campylobacter, do not wash raw chicken in the sink and be sure to follow all other safe food handling practices.

Handling raw chicken properly
Campylobacter is just one of the many dangerous microorganisms that thrive on raw, uncooked meat. For this reason, it is important to always exercise caution when handling any kind of raw meat, but especially chicken. Always transfer it directly from its packaging to a non-porous cutting surface. Furthermore, make sure that anything that touches the raw chicken does not then come into contact with any clean utensils or ready-to-eat-food. Any raw ingredients that touch it must also be cooked. Once a piece of chicken is thoroughly cooked through, be sure to wash your hands with warm, soapy water before eating or handling the cooked meat.

It can sometimes be difficult to maintain proper sanitation standards while taking online culinary courses given the fact that you are cooking out of your home rather than an industrial kitchen. However, it is of the utmost importance that you take the necessary care to protect yourself and those around you when preparing meals at home. If you use your common sense and are always vigilant against cross-contamination, you should be absolutely fine.

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