USDA answers age-old question of whether poultry should be washed before cooking

By NBC News

Should you rinse raw poultry? Advice over the years has been conflicting.  

Even cooking legends Julia Child and Jacques Pepin disagreed, but a new study from the Department of Agriculture has a definitive answer: Don't do it!

"The sink could be a source of cross contamination," warns the USDA's Dr. Mindy Brashears.

Using test kitchens, the USDA observed test subjects cooking chicken thighs, then preparing a salad.

When they washed the chicken, 26 percent transferred bacteria to the ready-to-eat lettuce.

Most didn't attempt to clean the sink in between, and even when they did 14 percent still were contaminated.

Read more from NBC News.

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