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We Asked Experts Whether Washing Raw Chicken Was Legit Or Useless

We talked to the USDA, a germ expert, and a prominent NYC chef.

Hello! My name is Michelle and I'm a writer for BuzzFeed Food. On a recent scroll through the comments on one of our videos, I noticed a ton of people said they washed their chicken before cooking it.

Curious writer (and self-conscious person) that I am, I decided to poll the BuzzFeed community to see where I stood on the practice.

So who's actually in the right, hygiene-wise? To get to the bottom of this question, I decided to ask the experts.

First up? USDA spokesperson Marianne H. Gravely. She said that the department "falls squarely in the 'don’t wash your chicken' camp."

Sounded fair, but I wanted another opinion. So I turned to a second source: germ expert and associate professor of environmental health at the University of Arizona Kelly Reynolds.

Her take on the practice? Don't do it. 😯

But! I wanted to know, what if you washed the chicken using really hot water?

Okay, fine, but what about a vinegar and salt soak? I hear that's more effective than using plain water.

So, is there any advantage at all to washing chicken?

Now, reformed germophobe that I am, I decided to check one last source: a chef from NYC's Le Coq Rico — for a less clinical reference point. And, you guys, not even a chef at a fancy French chicken restaurant recommends washing chicken.

And if a few experts aren't convincing enough, perhaps this very official packaging label is?