CDC: Don’t Wash Your Thanksgiving Turkey

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With Thanksgiving almost here, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued tips on the safest way to prepare your turkey.

First of all, you should not wash or rinse your bird. That may seem counterintuitive, but washing the turkey can spread germs and bacteria all over your kitchen.

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Do not wash or rinse raw turkey. Federal food safety advice has recommended against washing turkey or chicken since 2005, but some habits are hard to break. A 2020 survey* found that 78% of participants reported washing or rinsing turkey before cooking. Old recipes and family cooking traditions may tempt you to keep this practice going, but it can make you and your family sick. Poultry juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.

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