Do you wash your chicken before you cook it? The CDC really doesn’t want you to and has sparked a big debate online.

This week the CDC warned against washing raw chicken, noting that doing so can cause food poisoning as “chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops,” and the warning started a Twitter controversy.

Many home cooks on Twitter were quick to dismiss the CDC’s advice, noting that washing raw chicken is a pretty common practice in many homes.

“Sorry, I follow the rules of my 92-year-old mother’s kitchen. They haven’t failed me yet,” one woman wrote.

“Or, hear me out, what if we wash the utensils and sink after washing the chicken,” tweeted another cook.

After a deluge of responses from committed chicken washers, the CDC issued a response:

“We didn’t mean to get you all hot about not washing your chicken! But it’s true: kill germs by cooking chicken thoroughly, not washing it. You shouldn’t wash any poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking. They can all spread germs around your kitchen. Don’t wing food safety!”

The CDC is taking a light tone In its response but is pretty clear about one thing: The best practice is to just cook raw chicken without washing it. As long as you cook it to an internal temperature of 165°F it’s safe, the germs are cooked off and not spread to your sink or other prep areas.

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