Nearly half of all Australians still wash raw chicken before cooking, exposing themselves, family and friends to food poisoning, say safety experts.
Washing any raw poultry, whether it is chicken, duck, goose or the Christmas turkey, is unsafe as it can spread bacteria to your hands, surfaces and other foods that may not be cooked, said Cathy Moir, Chairwoman of the Food Safety Information Council.
Washing is also unecessary as cooking poultry to 75°C in the centre of a fillet or the thickest part of the thigh will kill any bacteria.
"'We are pleased that rates of washing raw whole chicken has reduced from 60 per cent to 49 per cent since we last asked this question in 2011," she said. "Cooks who wash raw chicken pieces with skin on has also reduced from 52 per cent to 43 per cent and washing skinless pieces from 41 per cent to 40 per cent.
"The survey found that chicken is a popular dish with 78 per cent of respondents cooking whole chicken, 83 per cent cooking chicken pieces with skin on and 88 per cent cooking skinless pieces.
Key Christmas and summer entertaining food safety tips:
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