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Many recipes state that we should rinse poultry with water before preparing them. This is not only unnecessary, it is even dangerous, warns the British National Health Service.
Infectious bacteria such as Campylobacter on raw poultry meat cannot be rinsed off with cold or warm water.
Why is rinsing dangerous?
When we fry rinsed poultry, the fat-water mixture with the potentially contained germs spray up to 50 cm through the air, and so the pathogens get into our circulation much better than if we let the rinsing off.
Is rinsing always pointless?
No it is not. In the case of raw salads and vegetables, it is even necessary to rinse off and / or brush off adhering soil, any residues of pesticides etc. in order to eliminate toxins and germs. However, these pathogens are not found in vegetables.
Every other chicken and more carries the pathogen
In 2017, more than 50% of the chicken in German retail was infested with Campylobacter, so half of the chicken meat is contaminated with dangerous diarrhea germs.
Diarrhea and intestinal infection
Campylobacter infects the stomach and intestines and causes severe diarrhea. Up to 70,000 people officially fall ill in Germany every year.
How big is the risk of getting infected?
A small amount of the rod-shaped pathogens can infect a person.
Why is rinsing dangerous?
When rinsing, the pathogens are distributed on the cutting board, the work surface, the sink or the kitchen brush. There they come into contact not only with humans, but also with other foods that are often not cooked - in contrast to poultry.
Beware of immune deficiency
For a healthy person with a strong immune system, Campylobacter infection is unpleasant; it has to drink a lot of liquid and replace minerals. Infection with the pathogen can rarely be fatal for infants, pregnant women and the elderly.
Dab instead of rinse
If you want to clean the poultry before preparing it, dab it off with a dry kitchen towel and then put it in the laundry or throw it away. Avoid coming into skin contact with the raw poultry.
Remove freeze water
Pour away freeze-thawed frozen water from the poultry and make sure that food not to be cooked has no contact with it. The pathogens collect here.
Cooking instead of rinsing
Only eat poultry that is well cooked. Then you don't need to be afraid of bacteria. In contrast to the warm water from the tap, the temperatures during cooking, roasting and baking are so high that the pathogens die.
Eat without getting sick
If you first throw away the raw poultry water and secondly cook the meat thoroughly, dangers from microbes are almost impossible - Cambylobacter infections as well as dangerous diseases. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)