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Jul 6, 2008 08:45 PM

Meat washing-quick survey

Everyone probably washes a whole chicken before cooking, right?

Who washes steaks or chops before cooking?

What about chicken parts?

I was surprised when a friend washed a steak before cooking once, so I'm curious.

I mostly only wash whole chickens before cooking.

And I'm talking about if you dropped it on the floor!

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  1. Only whole chickens, never chicken pieces...not sure why and it would ever occur to me to wash steak. Wonder if your same friend washes ground beef as that is supposed to be the dirty stuff. I have even been guilty on occasion of using the same tongs to turn un-cooked chicken and to remove cooked chicken, after I am always thinking, "Probably should have used another pair of tongs" but never gotten sick!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bubbles4me

      Wash whole and chicken parts with skin but not boneless parts. Never wash any other meat.

    2. I've always washed any meat before cooking. I have no idea what touched the meat before it was wrapped in cellophane. Often pieces with bone will have dust from the bandsaw on them. I also wash eggs before using them. On occasion, I rinse chicken with vinaigre. I can't imagine cooking anything without washing it first.

      1. I do wash whole chickens, a cold water rinse with some help from a hand inside the bird, to remove the entrail residue that the processing plants don't every seem to entirely remove. I wash other meats only if I see something (like bone residue) that I believe needs to be removed. I understand that if it's been in contact with anything that might have contaminated it during processing that it's already deep in the fiber of the meat and only radiation (heat or other source) will kill those bacteria; washing will not remove it. No amount of surface washing will eliminate that degree of threat. With respect to meat that has not been ground, most bacteria occurs naturally only on the meat surface. The heat applied in the cooking process is generally enough to kill any surface bacteria and, if the meat is cooked to an internal temperature recommended by USDA, the heat conducted through the meat in the cooking process is enough to make me feel comfortable about serving it. Of course, if I were a tartar lover, it might be a different story.
        With ground meat it is, in my kitchen, much the same story. I depend on conduction to render any bacteria that might be in the product harmless through conduction that achieves USDA recommended temperatures.

        1. The people who work in the meat dept at my local stores recommend always washing the meat and that includes pork, beef and chicken.

          4 Replies
          1. re: dimsumgirl

            My first job was working in the meat department at a local grocery store. As a result, I ALWAYS rinse meat before cooking - chicken parts, steaks, chops, etc.

            1. re: Rubee

              Count me in as a rinser. Along with the things rubee rinses, I also rinse fish.

            2. i dont wash chicken. read somewhere that no difference in taste when you wash or dont. plus if you cook it the heat will kill off any contaminants. with meat, i wash the lamb/goat meat i buy from the butcher and then freeze. dont wash ground either unless defrosting the bag in water. after reading the posts wonder if i should change my practices.