Many home cooks believe you need to wash poultry, but an observational study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that 60% of people who rinsed raw chicken before cooking had potentially harmful bacteria left in their sinks afterward, and 14% had bacteria lingering in the sink even after cleaning it. Perhaps even more worrisome: More than 26% of study participants transferred bacteria from their cleaned bird to nearby lettuce. The USDA says the best practice is not to wash poultry prior to cooking, but instead to make sure you cook the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which will knock out dangerous bugs.
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