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Should you rinse your meat before cooking?

should you rinse raw meat

Do you still rinse your meat before cooking or prepping? If so, you might want to read up on food safety in the kitchen. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you should not be washing your meat before cooking. Why do you ask?

It’s the thing called cross contamination. It’s the reason why you don’t cut your vegetables for a salad on the same cutting board where you just cut up your chicken for that savory lemon pepper recipe. We all know that beef and chicken are sometimes contaminated with E-coli and salmonella.

Cross contamination is how many people get sick every year. Many of them ending up in the hospital for food poisoning. What the USDA determined was that when you wash the meat, the bacteria can splash around the kitchen and come in contact with other foods and surfaces, near the sink.

The new recommendations and guidelines are that the meat goes straight from the package and into the pan. This was huge news to me because I was always taught to rinse my meat thoroughly before cooking. But, I always questioned if it was actually necessary. Doesn’t the heat kill the bacteria?

It was kind of hard taking the chicken out of the package and not rinsing it.  Growing up, I was taught by everyone to never cook chicken without washing it first.  Some even go as far as rinsing it in lemon and scrubbing the skin.  I don’t think that’s necessary but to each its own.

And remember to always cook the meat to the recommended internal temp.  This will also help prevent food poisoning. And, think about this. We don’t rinse our ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey, right!! Use a little common sense when in the kitchen and use health safety standards and guidelines and practice cleanliness when handling meat and food. I always keep a bottle of Clorox clean-up, kitchen gloves, and paper towels handy when cooking.

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