Don't wash raw chicken

Don't wash raw chicken warningSplashing can spread campylobacter bacteria on to other surfaces, other food, your skin, your clothing and equipment which can lead to serious illness.

The Food Standards Agency has carried out research  and in the Food and You survey in 2012:

  • Over a third of respondents (38 per cent) reported always washing raw poultry.
  • Over half (58 per cent) reported washing it at least some of the time


There are more than a million cases of food poisoning each year, including 20,000 hospitalisations and 500 deaths and Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK

Campylobacter poisoning usually develops a few days after consuming contaminated food and leads to symptoms that include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting. Campylobacter infections can last up to 10 days, although the typical symptoms last between 2 and 5 days. Campylobacter infection can be particularly severe in small children and adults over 60.

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Keep your family safe from food poisoning using the 4Cs which are;


  • Make sure your fridge temperature is below 5 degrees
  • Don’t overfill your fridge. This allows air to circulate and maintains the set temperature
  • Store raw poultry at the bottom of the fridge and properly wrap it to avoid raw juices contaminating other foods
  • Avoiding Cross Contamination
  • Cross contamination occurs when harmful germs such as campylobacter are spread between food, surfaces and equipment
  • Help to prevent this by removing clutter that you don’t need and washing worktops before and after food preparation


  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing and after handling raw food such as chicken.
  • Thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken.
  • Always use a chopping board. Wash the board and other utensils in hot, soapy water when you’ve finished using them and in between preparing raw foods such as chicken and ready-to-eat food. Consider using separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat food.
  • Wash or change dish cloths, tea towels and sponges regularly and let them dry before you use them again. Dirty, damp cloths are the perfect place for bacteria to breed.

Cooking chicken thoroughly

  • Cook chicken thoroughly until it is steaming hot in the middle. This will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

Contact us

Environmental Health

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

0345 8 506 506