Raw chicken contains harmful bacteria, particularly campylobacter and salmonella, two of the main culprits behind food poisoning. So it only makes sense to wash raw chicken before cooking it, right? Wrong.
Washing raw chicken before cooking it actually contributes to the spread of those harmful bacteria across the surface of the meat and elsewhere, such as the sink or your countertop. Jennifer Quinlan, a researcher at Drexel University, participated in a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on this very subject. Quinlan said her research shows that as many as 90 percent of people in her survey said they rinse their raw birds, especially since many recipes call for people to rinse, then pat dry. She stated: