By Jessica Domel

To wash or not to wash? That’s the question I find myself asking every time I open a package of raw chicken in my kitchen. Do I need to wash this before cooking it or does the cooking process take care of the bacteria for me?

Well, apparently that’s been the debate for some time among those in the culinary industry.

My grandmother always washed her chicken before cooking it, but I also watched her wash off her kitchen counters and sink with a bleach solution after doing so to kill bacteria. Was she doing it wrong?

A new campaign says she was.

The public health campaign is aptly named “Don’t Wash Your Chicken,” and it depicts with “Germ-Vision” how washing the chicken can spread bacteria on you, your counters and produce on the counters around the sink.

Researchers at Drexel and New Mexico State University who came up with the campaign say the only way to kill the bacteria on the chicken is to cook it properly–without the pre-rinse.

So, who is right?

I think both sides can be correct, as long as the proper protocols are followed. If you’re a pre-washer, wipe down all of your counters, your sink and everything around it afterwards with a disinfecting solution. If you don’t wash your chicken, be sure you wipe down anything you touched after opening the chicken package.

The most important thing, whether you’re team pre-wash or team non-wash, is that you ensure all poultry reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit so that it’s fully cooked.

Happy cooking!