10 Mistakes You're Making With Raw Chicken

Not properly handling raw chicken:  Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, so it's important to handle it with care. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw chicken separate from other foods, utensils, and cutting boards. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling raw chicken.

Not storing raw chicken properly:  Raw chicken should be stored in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C) to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Make sure raw chicken is wrapped securely in plastic wrap or in a leak-proof container to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.

Not thawing chicken safely:  If you're thawing frozen chicken, avoid leaving it at room temperature, as it can promote bacterial growth. Thaw chicken in the refrigerator, in cold water, or using a microwave with a defrost setting. Avoid thawing chicken on the countertop.

Not cooking chicken to the proper temperature:  Chicken should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill harmful bacteria. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken to ensure it's fully cooked.

Washing raw chicken:  Washing raw chicken can actually spread bacteria around your kitchen through splashing water, leading to cross-contamination. Cooking chicken to the proper temperature is sufficient to kill any harmful bacteria.c

Using the same cutting board for everything:  Using the same cutting board for raw chicken and other foods can lead to cross-contamination. Always use separate cutting boards for raw chicken and other ingredients, and clean them thoroughly with hot, soapy water after each use.

Not marinating chicken safely: If you're marinating chicken, do it in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Discard any leftover marinade that has come into contact with raw chicken, as it can contain harmful bacteria.

Not washing kitchen utensils and surfaces properly: Make sure to thoroughly wash all utensils, cutting boards, countertops, and other surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken with hot, soapy water after each use to prevent cross-contamination.

Not using leftover cooked chicken safely:  Leftover cooked chicken should be refrigerated promptly and consumed within 2-3 days. Reheat leftover chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before consuming.

Ignoring signs of spoilage: Raw chicken should always be fresh and have no off odors, unusual colors, or slimy texture. If you notice any of these signs, discard the chicken as it may be spoiled and unsafe to consume.