You’ve likely heard for years that it’s a good idea to wash raw meat, poultry, and seafood under running water before preparing and cooking it. But experts say that’s a myth. According to the USDA and the Partnership for Food Safety Education, rinsing raw meat is “not recommended.” It does not remove any bacteria – only heat does that – and in fact you risk spreading bacteria from splashing water that’s touched the raw meat. So with any kind of raw meat, simply prepare as is (pat it dry with disposable paper towels if necessary for prepping), and be sure to wash your hands and work surfaces thoroughly with soapy water after touching raw meat. (It is, however, still advisable to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.) Check our cooking temp guidelines to be sure your meat reaches the temperature that destroys bacteria.