Rinsing A Bird In The Sink Can Spray Bacteria Around The Kitchen

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Millions of Americans are getting ready to prepare a turkey for Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast.

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But, there is one thing that many people may be doing when they prep their poultry that could be exposing family members salmonella and other bacteria.

Washing a turkey before cooking it seems to make sense but experts told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois that it could be creating a culinary crime scene.

Washing raw poultry like turkey and chicken won’t get ride of bacteria, but it will spread it around the sink and onto dinner-wear, making it much easier to ingest.

“In the literature they call it aerisolization. You have this tiny spray, this microscopic spray that is splashing back,” Chef Carol Cotner Thompson explained, “You see all of this juice and all of the things that can be spread around.”

To demonstrate, Thompson covered a turkey in a substance called glo-gem which tracks how and where bacteria is spread.

The turkey was rinsed and a black light was used to track the rail of bacteria. It showed up on the sink, the faucet, everywhere. It even seeped onto the skin through gloves.

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Following a second cleaning possible bacteria was still widespread.

“I was surprised because it’s on my clothing, it’s on the floor, it’s on the handle of the sink, I mean it really spreads,” Thompson said.

For those who insist on washing their bird experts recommend using a deep sink to minimize splashing, sanitizing the area, and using a wet paper towel to clean the top of the bird. But, remember what you can’t see can still hurt you.

“It can spread far and it doesn’t take much to be in there to make you sick,” Thompson said.

Instead of washing experts suggest putting the bird in the sink, removing it from its bag, and placing the turkey in roasting pan. Cooking it will eliminate the bacteria.

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