FSA urges public not to wash raw chickenAs the UK’s Food Standards Agency continues food safety week, the agency is calling on people to stop washing raw chicken in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting Campylobacter.

According to the agency, about 44 percent of people wash chicken before cooking it. By doing this, bacteria can spread onto hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment through water droplets.

“Although people tend to follow recommended practice when handling poultry, such as washing hands after touching raw chicken and making sure it is thoroughly cooked, our research has found that washing raw chicken is also common practice,” said Catherine Brown, agency chief executive.

Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting about 280,000 people a year. Four out of five cases stem from poultry contamination according to the agency.

Results of a recent FSA survey show awareness levels of campylobacter are below other forms of food poisoning with only 28 percent of the public reporting knowledge of it, as opposed to Salmonella at 90 percent.