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Washing your Thanksgiving turkey can actually make you sick

Think you're getting rid of harmful bacteria? Think again.

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As you prep for Thanksgiving dinner, did you know that rinsing a raw turkey could spread more bacteria than it would get rid of?

It sounds counterintuitive because you might want to give the old bird a little wash-off before its big moment. But washing an uncooked turkey can splash pathogens, like salmonella, onto other kitchen surfaces, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This can lead to serious foodborne illnesses.

The Good Housekeeping Institute's Test Kitchen shared their thoughts and they agreed, saying this rule should apply to all raw poultry, not just turkey.

"We recommend you pat raw poultry dry with paper towels instead," food editor Cathy Lo says.

The best way to avoid bacteria on your bird is actually to pop it in the oven, the USDA says. That's because the only way to kill the bacteria on uncooked food that causes those foodborne illnesses is to cook it.

"Also make sure you wash cutting boards, surfaces, and hands to avoid any other cross-contamination," Lo adds.

So remember to wash everything, just not the turkey.

h/t Huffington Post