Earlier this month the Center for Disease Control took to Twitter to debunk the longstanding myth and warn the public against the practice.
“Raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria,” the website reads. “During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops.” So basically, we had it all backwards and we’re lucky we haven’t come down with salmonella.
The CDC goes on to outline other ways to avoid foodborne illness like washing your hands before and after handling the chicken, using a separate cutting board, or checking that it’s cooked all the way through with a thermometer.
Also, Dr. Oz explains the importance of NOT washing chicken.