CDC Says “Don’t Wash Your Turkey”

Close up of unrecognizable man carving roasted Thanksgiving turkey.

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Once again, the CDC is reminding people to "not wash" their Turkeys this Thanksgiving.

The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention is warning everyone preparing a Turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner, “Don’t wash it!”

They have been stating this since 2005. Federal food safety experts say washing raw meats increases the risk of cross-contamination and could lead to food poisonings like salmonella and campylobacter.

“Old recipes and family cooking traditions may keep this practice going, but it can make you and your family sick,” said the agency. “Poultry juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.”

Tips from the CDC for handling your turkey the right way:

  1. Wash your hands in warm water and lather your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw turkey. (Covid style hand wash!)
  2. Use a designated cutting board for raw turkey. Be sure to not put cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or any surface that previously touched raw turkey.
  3. Finally, make sure you wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing the turkey and before you prepare the next dish.

Be safe and have a lovely Thanksgiving!

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