Historically, washing is associated with purity and cleanliness. We wash our clothes, underwear, we wash our cars, the dishes, we bathe daily and logically most people believe they should wash the meat before cooking for greater safety. Contrary to the popular belief, however, washing the raw meat is not recommended. The reason is that the adherent bacteria spread when in contact with the running water. This is called cross-contamination according to the terminology of the Food Safety Agency. Most consumers believe that they remove bacteria and make their meat safer to eat, but no matter how many times you will rinse it in running water, the result is spreading of the adherent bacteria.

The process of cooking (baking, boiling, steaming) at suitable temperature definitely kills bacteria.

The use of thermometer is the only safe way to find out if you have reached enough high temperature to destroy bacteria on the meat. Raw lamb, veal and beef meat should be cooked to at least 66 degrees Celsius internal temperature, i.e. measured with a food thermometer immediately after removing the meat from the heat source. For safety, continue cooking it for at least 3 minutes after reaching this internal temperature. The meat should defreeze and the meal should be prepared almost immediately. It is necessary to have a separate cutting board for raw meat. The hands and all surfaces that are touched by it must be washed with hot water and soap.

Here is the place also to share my view about raw fish. A lot of world cuisines urge us to try raw seafood – shrimps, sushi, etc. Some restaurants offer them undercooked – for example tuna – smoked from the outside and red inside. Like every protein organism, it brings the risk of disease from pathogens, especially if it is not cooked properly. The raw fish, prepared by an experienced chef, trained how to cook it properly and having previously removed the parasites, has little risk for the healthy people.