Research – Dutch survey finds a quarter of people wash chicken, despite expert advice

Food Safety News

A survey in the Netherlands has found more than a quarter of people wash raw chicken, which public health officials say increases the chances of spreading bacteria.

Results come from two surveys by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) with the Dutch population about safe food handling.

The first survey in May 2021 with 2,000 participants asked Dutch consumers about general food safety handling in the domestic kitchen. One of the questions was if they washed their chicken.

A second survey in November 2021 with 1,000 respondents was focused on safe handling of chicken. People were asked if they washed their chicken and more details about why and how. Both surveys revealed that more than 25 percent of consumers washed their chicken often or almost always.

Bacteria on chicken can cause food poisoning. Usually it is because of Campylobacter or Salmonella.

Washing raw poultry is not recommended, because of concerns about contaminating other foods and surfaces and increasing the risk of foodborne illness.

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