It’s common knowledge that washing cleans out dirt and bacteria so it is applied to everything, even food. What many don’t realize, when it comes to fresh meat, washing may actually do more harm than good.
One of the reasons, and may even be the only reason for some, why people tend to wash raw chicken is because it has this oiliness on it’s skin. Naturally, we’d think that the oiliness comes from the market and will immediately think bacteria. Of course, it is safe to assume that the fresh chicken has some dangerous types of bacteria like salmonella and campylo. These are the number one causes of illnesses acquired from food.
Now to the issue of washing as a wrong approach to cleaning such bacteria off: don’t do it. When you wash the fresh chicken on your sink, you are most likely to spread whatever bacteria it contains around that area. Surrounding areas like the sink, counter, your own hands and other food or plates nearby can be contaminated too. So even when the chicken is cleaned, you can still get sick from touching contaminated objects.
If you want to clean your chicken, there’s no need to wash it. Just heat it at a temperature of 165 °F (73.89 °C) and the bacteria will die off.