Do you wash your meat before cooking it?

Aug 07, 2019

IWashingMeatt's an old wives' tale that just won't die: the idea that you should wash your meat and poultry before cooking it. In the newest Meat MythCrusher video, the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) seek to finally put it to rest, as AMSA member Jonathan Campbell, Ph.D., meat extension specialist at Penn State University, explains the reasons why washing meat and poultry before cooking it is a poor food safety practice.

"From a food safety standpoint it's a bad idea because we can potentially spread the bacteria that are on the meat to all other areas of our kitchen," said Dr. Campbell. "That makes the food safety hazard even worse."

Dr. Campbell adds that washing meat also is not effective at removing all of the potential bacteria, which is best accomplished by cooking the meat to the proper internal temperature as confirmed with a meat thermometer. The video also discusses the best strategies for safely removing meat from packaging to avoid any cross contamination and the proper temperatures for various cuts of meat and poultry.

Watch the video for more information from AMSA member Dr. Campbell. 


All of the videos as well as a new brochure covering the different meat myths addressed in them are available at

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