Chickens don’t get sick from the salmonella and campylobacter bacteria they carry—but humans do. These bacteria can’t simply jump off a piece of raw poultry and onto your countertop (they don’t have legs!), but they can travel in water, splish-splashing their way from the meat to your kitchen or clothes. Cooking chicken to 165 degrees will kill harmful pathogens, so that’s enough. You don’t need to, and shouldn’t, rinse it beforehand.
READ MORE: Preparing Poultry, Safely