Photo: stephenjohnbryde, Flickr
You might want to think twice before rinsing off raw chicken in your kitchen sink.
Recent studies by the British Food Standards Agency show that rinsing chicken can potentially spread bacteria on work surfaces in a three-foot radius, The Daily Telegraph reported. The report says up to 75 percent of consumers wash poultry before consuming it.
The FSA says 65 percent of raw chicken is contaminated with campylobacer, the most common cause of food poisoning, the paper reported. And while cooking will kill the bug, Campylobacter causes more than 300,000 cases of food poisoning and 15,000 hospitalizations a year in England and Wales.
That means washing your bird can spread harmful bacteria around your kitchen, potentially contaminating other foods in your kitchen that may not be cooked before eating.
The FSA is looking into ways to reduce contamination across the chicken production line, including disinfecting chickens with an antimicrobial wash -- a method not yet approved in the EU.
"Washing raw poultry is a common kitchen mistake, and it simply isn't necessary," an FSA spokeswoman told the Telegraph.
"Tap water won't get rid of the germs that cause food poisoning but they will be killed by thorough cooking. By washing your raw bird, you're actually more likely to spread the germs around the kitchen than get rid of them."