Texas FFA News  
Florence FFA Members Test Bacteria Count When Washing Chicken in the Kitchen Sink    
Monday, June 15, 2020 | Author: Lani Pieper, Texas FFA News

Florence FFA members Macey Hilton and Beau Gilmore set out to research the difference in bacteria count when using different disinfecting methods of washing raw chicken meat.

“We originally came up with the idea when we came across a twitter post from the CDC saying you should not wash your chicken before you cook it, so we decided to test it,” Hilton said.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated that Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year.

The purpose of their research titled Meat Me at the Kitchen Sink: Testing the Effects of Washing Chicken in the Kitchen Sink and the Bacteria Count, was to educate others about the hazards of not properly cleaning the kitchen sink after rinsing raw chicken and how it impacts the spread of foodborne illness.

“We did two different trials testing two different methods,” said Gilmore. “For each method we swabbed bacteria on petri dishes.”

The students began by washing raw chicken in the sink then utilized their chapter’s incubator to test disinfecting methods. Those methods included cleaning and rinsing the sink and area with cold water, then using Dawn Dish Soap. 

According to their research, no matter the method of disinfecting, there was still bacteria growth and cross contamination in the sink.

The CDC states that if fewer people wash their chicken, less Salmonella cases would be recorded. 

Hilton’s and Gilmore’s successful agriscience fair project was recognized as the 2019 Texas FFA champion and National FFA runner-up in the Food Products and Processing Systems category.

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