Julia Child Was Wrong…

Bathing by hlkljgk CC BY-SA 2.0
Bathing by hlkljgk CC BY-SA 2.0

So I just heard on NPR, that you shouldn’t wash your chicken before you cook it.  I think I’ve kinda done this and not done this.  I like to cook poultry.  In case you didn’t already know, Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.  Why?  Food, football and no presents.  What more could you ask for?  I think I haven’t “rinsed” my poultry mainly because I’m lazy, but I have to say, I have had a certain amount of guilt about it.  A lot of my cookbooks say I should.  So maybe I have occasionally and maybe I haven’t.  But this post about washing poultry spreading more germs…nice.  Please watch the 14 second Germ-vision video because that was enough to make me go wash my hands – immediately.

Reposted from The Salt


August 23, 2013 8:48 AM

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

It seems almost sacrilegious to question the wisdom of Julia Child.

First with her opus Mastering the Art of French Cooking and later with her PBS cooking show, the unflappably cheerful Child helped rescue home cookery from the clutches of convenience food. She taught us how to love — and take pride in — making something from scratch.

And yet, in at least one important kitchen skill, Child got it dead wrong: rinsing raw poultry.

“I just think it’s a safer thing to do,” Child tells viewers in one clip from The French Chef in which she shows us the ins and outs of roasting chicken.

“Oh, no!” says Drexel University food safety researcher Jennifer Quinlan when I inform her that Child was in the pro-bird-washing camp. “I don’t want to take on that.”

Yet take on the doyenne of TV chefs she must. For Quinlan is on a mission to get America’s home cooks to drop this widespread habit of washing poultry before cooking.

“There’s no reason, from a scientific point of view, to think you’re making it any safer,” she says, “and in fact, you’re making it less safe.”

That’s because washing increases the chances that you’ll spread the foodborne pathogens that are almost certainly on your bird all over the rest of your kitchen too, food safety experts say. We’re talking nasty stuff like salmonella and Campylobacter, which together are estimated to cause nearly 1.9 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year.

Some studies suggest bacteria can fly up to 3 feet away from where your meat is rinsed — though you can’t necessarily see it. If that thought alone doesn’t give you pause, perhaps this slimy “germ vision” animation will do the trick:…

Read the full post here.

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