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About that raw chicken we insist on washing …

Gracie Bonds Staples, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Health & Fitness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caused quite a stir recently with its consumer warning on raw chicken.

Don't bother with washing, it said in an April 26 tweet. Doing so can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils.

Well, what did they do that for? The black Twittersphere lit into them. Everybody and their mamas recoiled. You would've thought someone had died and not just chickens.

Comments ranged from downright comical to cynical to sensible.

One woman wrote: "Wash the chicken ... wash it really good and wash anything it touches! But wash the chicken! Oh yeah ... wash the chicken and don't forget to wash the chicken and EVERYTHING it touches but also wash the chicken!"

Another said: "God only knows how many people handled that chicken before it was packaged."

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And this from a guy who apparently knows how often expert advice changes: "Meh, next year they'll tell us to wash it. Meh."

The CDC stood firm. Not only was it better not to wash raw chicken, the same goes for any poultry, meat or eggs before cooking.

When we wash raw chicken, it said, splattering juices contaminated with bacteria, such as Campylobacter or Salmonella, can easily spread around the kitchen and even onto our clothes.

The tweet seemed to fall into our day from the blue sky, but Brittany Behm, a communication specialist in the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, said the federal agency regularly posts food safety messages on social media.

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