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Washing raw chicken leads to increased risk of food poisoning

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Published on : Jun 17, 2014

Consumers are warned against washing raw chicken to prevent the risk of infection, a report says.

An online survey was conducted of four-thousand five hundred adults in UK by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The survey showed that 44 percent of these adults washed their chicken before cooking. However, doing this increases the contamination risk of campylobacter bacteria. The contamination can spread onto work surface, clothing, hands and cooking equipment because of the water splashing around.

Campylobacter is one of the most common reasons responsible for food poisoning in U.K.; and majority of reported cases showed that it was caused due to contaminated poultry. Some of the symptoms of food poisoning are stomach pains, stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, and a feeling of uneasiness.

In most cases of food poisoning by campylobacter the patients are sick only for a few days. However, in some cases the patient might suffer from long-term health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or Guillain-Barre syndrome. Such conditions can affect a person’s day-to-day activities.

The survey showed that the most common reason for washing chicken was to remove germs or dirt or because this has always been their habit.

These bacteria are responsible for affecting 280,000 people in U.K. every year, however only 28 percent in the FSA survey said that they knew about it. As the survey shows only a third of the participants knew that poultry was the primary source of these bacteria. In the same survey around 90 percent of the participants stated that they knew about salmonella and E.coli.

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