Don’t wash raw chicken in the kitchen
We continue our extended series of dangers in the house and the things we eat, with this story from National Public Radio. Long time readers of BIO230 will recall that I am no fan of cleanliness in the kitchen, and quite frankly this report comes as absolutely no surprise to me. Julia Child (pictured here) was a strong advocate of washing out the chicken carcass prior to adding seasoning and popping it in the oven. We are all likely aware that proper cooking of poultry greatly reduces the risk of food-borne disease from the roast chicken. But what about the rest of the kitchen?
It turns out that the act of rinsing out things in the kitchen sink results in the dispersal of huge numbers of microorganisms from the sink. Organisms present on poultry such as Salmonella and Campylobacter can be spread from the sink over a large area, up to at least 3 feet away from the sink. Food safety researcher Jennifer Quinlan of Drexel University is currently promoting a public health campaign to educate consumers of the potential danger of aerosolized pathogens from washed poultry. Her advice? Just make sure that the bird is cooked to an internal temperature sufficient to eliminate food-borne pathogens, and skip the washing step. To illustrate the risks of washing that bird, they show the dispersal of pathogens with “Germ-O-Vision:”
Commenters! For #bonus, identify reports in the media, or in the published literature (for example, via Pubmed) about additional microbiological dangers in the house. I will reward your work with a bonus point in Blackboard, which will also enable you to submit your own blog summaries later in the term for additional bonus! Here are the rules: this only goes through Monday September 9th (1 week to play), you must have something different than what has appeared in the comment thread (no repeats,) and you must include a link to click. Please note, if you have never commented on this blog before, you will not see it appear immediately. I will release it from moderation as soon as I see the comment.