When you plan to cook a good steak or a fillet of beef, you immediately think that it is absolutely necessary to wash these slices of meat so that they are free of microbes. In many households, it is therefore very common for fresh meat to be cleaned before going to the frying pan or the oven. However, it turns out that this habit is completely useless, even harmful. We explain why.
Meat, a breeding ground for bacteria
As you know, raw meat can contain harmful bacteria such as Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Listeria. These microorganisms can contribute to diseases of the digestive system and cause distressing conditions such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever. Therefore, to take no risk, most people have the reflex to pass the meat under running water before going behind the stove. They thus start from the principle that by rinsing the meat carefully, it will be perfectly rid of all the dangerous bacteria. Big mistake !
Why not wash the meat before cooking?
When you wash meat under the kitchen sink, you immediately allow bacteria to splash and swirl around. sponges, the work surface, other food in the area or on your own clothes. This will allow them to easily enter your body. In other words, it’s a very bad idea!
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Tell yourself that the best way to get rid of all the bacteria is to simply boil, roast or fry the meat. A high temperature (over 70°C) effectively neutralizes all bacteria. Moreover, if it is also not recommended to wash the meat before cooking it, it is also so as not to alter its taste. This is because when you add extra moisture, you are unknowingly changing the flavor of your meat. During cooking, the water remaining on the pieces will increase the level of steam and thus affect the final texture. Small tip: if you want to remove its juice, specialists recommend using a kitchen towel to carefully dab the surface of the meat.
Good to know : Pork, chicken and other types of meat should not be washed in water. As we explained above, the best way to sanitize meat is to use high temperatures. You just have to make sure to remove the first liquid.
If you are slow to cook the meat, do not wash it!
If you won’t be cooking meat on site, don’t plan to wash it, but store it in the refrigerator or freezer instead. Remember, water is a very fertile environment for bacteria and rinsing meat can only hasten the spoilage process.
We insist on this point again: rinsing meat can quickly contaminate other elements around it. So never underestimate the spills that can easily spread on the counter, the strip board, cutlery and other utensils. To preserve your health and that of your loved ones, don’t forget that it is essential to respect the rules of hygiene.
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Also, when handling raw meat, only use the dedicated cutting board to avoid cross-contamination. After preparing your meat, be sure to thoroughly wash and sanitize all utensils used, from the board to the knife. And, it goes without saying, keep your hands clean all the time.
NB : If you absolutely want to clean the chicken or meat before heat treatment, it is best to wipe it with a dry or moistened paper towel. Once the task is done, immediately throw the towel in the trash and wash your hands immediately.
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