Here’s Why You Should Never Rinse Your Turkey, According To Experts


How many of you rinse your turkey (or chicken or any other full bird)? We have our own hands raised on this one, too, and we all need to put them down and stop doing it immediately. Experts say that rinsing your bird could spread bacteria like crazy — not just to the meat but to your entire kitchen.

The United States Department of Agriculture states that even though it feels counterintuitive, you should absolutely not rinse your turkey, not under any circumstances. The reasoning? Pathogens and potentially harmful bacteria could spread to your sink and any other kitchen surface the wet turkey touches, which could result in your family getting sick.

Instead of rinsing the turkey, the page suggests taking it out of its package, skipping over the sink and moving right along to the aromatics and basting process.

“The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey,” the page reads.

A post shared by Jennifer Segal (@onceuponachef) on

We’re honestly shocked. If you’ve been rinsing your birds since you first started cooking (hey, even our own moms told us to do it), maybe it’s time you skip that part of the process. At least you can think of it as a bonus, because who wants to touch raw turkey longer than totally necessary? We consider this news a big win.