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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Rinse Raw Turkey

Turkey is a major delicacy enjoyed all over the world; however, during preparation, it is treated more carelessly than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends. Since 2005, the CDC has advised against washing turkeys however very few people listen, while others find the habit too hard to break. Keep reading to find out why you need to desist from washing your turkey.

By Cookist

There’s no need to feel terrible about washing your turkey because most people do it too. In fact, e survey has shown that about 78% of those who responded still wash their turkeys. Even the CDC knows that the habit is a tough one to quit; however, this article will hopefully present readers with enough motivation to stop washing turkey meat and also inform them of the only scenario where washing the turkey is the best thing to do.

Does raw turkey need to be washed?


It is important never to wash your turkey. The only time you should consider it is after you have brined it and are trying to get rid of the brine before cooking it. Here's what the CDC says:

"Old recipes and family cooking traditions may tempt you to keep this practice going, but it can make you and your family sick. Poultry juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops."

Many cooks believe that rinsing poultry meat can help make it germ-free and thus safe for cooking and consumption, but this is a farce and is completely unnecessary. Besides that, it can increase the probability of your family getting sick because other foods were contaminated with moisture from the raw meat.

Master instructor in the College of Food Innovation and Technology at Johnson and Wales University's Charlotte campus, Chef Fred Tiess, said that once a turkey has gone bad, rinsing it with water will not change the fact that it needs to be discarded.

Below is a step-by-step method Tiess uses to minimize cross-contamination when cooking turkey.

  1. Wash the sink and your hands well
  2. Remove the turkey from its wrapper in the sink to avoid any component from spilling on the countertops
  3. Get rid of giblets as well as the neck from the turkey cavity and keep them aside
  4. If the meat is moist, dab the outer parts and the inner section of the cavity with clean paper towels
  5. Put the meat in a big enough container, then thoroughly clean your sink.


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