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Should You Wash Your Turkey Before Cooking It?

I’ve never heard of such a thing, but apparently there’s a school of thought that says you should be washing your turkey before sticking it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.

I guess it’s kind of like those people that rinse their ground beef before cooking it. *Barf*

This got me thinking. Have I been doing it wrong?

Am I supposed to bathe my turkey before sticking it in the Turkey Bag and throwing it in the oven to cook?

Turns out, you should NOT be washing your turkey before you put it in to bake.

Here’s why health experts say you should not wash your turkey.

You might assume that washing your bird makes it healthier and cleaner to cook and eat.

This isn’t necessarily the case.

Washing raw turkey can spread germs to other food.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Raw turkey — and all poultry, actually — can be covered in Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and other germs, according to the CDC.

When you stick the bird in the sink, and run water over it, you are splashing and spreading those germs to your sink.

That, in turn, spreads the germs to anything that comes in contact with the sink.

Poultry juice can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

You should ALWAYS properly wash and sanitize anything that comes in contact with raw poultry. That includes sinks, utensils, countertops, and hands.

A USDA study found that 1 in 7 people who cleaned their sink after washing chicken still had germs in the sink.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

You want to make sure that, when cooking your turkey, you use a food thermometer to make sure your bird has reached a safe internal temperature of 165°F.

This will cook out the germs, and make it safe to consume. No washing needed!!

To learn more about how to properly cook your turkey check out the CDC website.