Nearly half of consumers still wash raw chicken, Australian survey finds

49% reported washing whole, raw chicken
calendar icon 20 December 2021
clock icon 3 minute read

Washing any raw poultry is very risky as it can spread bacteria to your hands, surfaces and other foods that may not be cooked, explained Cathy Moir, Council Chair. Washing is also unnecessary as cooking poultry to 75°C in the centre of a fillet or the thickest part of the thigh will kill any bacteria.

"We are pleased that rates of washing raw whole chicken has reduced from 60% to 49% since we last asked this question in 2011," said Moir. "Cooks who wash raw chicken pieces with skin on has also reduced from 52% to 43% and washing skinless pieces from 41% to 40%."

According to the survey, chicken is a popular dish with Australians. Some 78% of respondents cook whole chicken, 83% cook chicken pieces with skin on, and 88% cook skinless pieces.

The results of the survey sparked a food safety reminder to wash hands and utensils before working with raw meat of any sort. Store food in a refrigerator that maintains a temperature of 5°C or lower.

When cooking poultry, food safety authorities remind consumers to make sure the meat thermometer reaches 75°C at the thickest part of the thigh. Cooking stuffing separately ensures even and more timely cooking.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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