USDA’s Recommendation: Do not wash raw poultry.

According to a new study from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), even when consumers think they have thoroughly cleaned their hands and kitchen appliances after rising raw poultry, they are still at risk of illness since bacteria from raw meat can spread to other surfaces and affect the cleanliness of other food nearby. USDA recommends people not rinse their raw poultry and thoroughly sanitize their hands within 20 seconds of handling and preparing raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.

The USDA recommends that everyone thoroughly clean and sanitize all surfaces including the kitchen counter or chopping boards that have potentially touched or been contaminated from raw meat and poultry, or their juices.

An observational study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that bacteria is easily spread when surfaces are not effectively cleaned and sanitized.


Destroy bacteria that can cause illness by cooking meat and poultry to a safe internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer.

  • • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops) are safe to eat at 145°F.
  • • Ground meats (burgers) are safe to eat at 160°F.
  • • Poultry (whole or ground) are safe to eat at 165°F.

– Thao Pham

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