‘You need to wash raw chicken before preparing it’: true or false? We’ve got the answer!

raw chicken

Should you wash raw chicken before cooking or not?

We were always told that we should wash raw chicken before preparing it in order to remove possible salmonella bacteria. This way, you can safely prepare your food and don’t run the risk of falling ill. But is this actually true?

Do you wash your chicken before cooking it or do you just chuck it in the pan?


A lot of chicken is contaminated with the so called campylobacter bacterium. These bacteria live in the intestines of animals and end up everywhere through their feces – like on the meat of a chicken. Campylobacter can cause serious food poisoning, which can even have you end up in hospital. Rinsing the chicken doesn’t help at all to remove the bacteria; the only way to get rid of it is by heating the chicken sufficiently.


Moreover, chicken often contains salmonella. This bacteria can make you very ill very quickly. Salmonella causes diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps which can make you feel quite ill. You have probably heard the warnings about raw meat, especially chicken, because it can contain salmonella. This is absolutely true! You should never consume raw meat and you need to be careful when you touch it, as you always need to wash your hands afterwards. Some people think it’s better to wash chicken before they cook it, to rinse away the bacteria such as salmonella. But, is this wise?

Discover whether it’s good to wash chicken before cooking it on the next page.

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