You must almost be done with grocery shopping and recipe preparations for thanksgiving, but many health agencies have come together to deliver a rule, making it clear not to wash the turkey before cooking it.

The food safety memo published last week states that “You can’t wash off bacteria with water, and rinsing out the turkey risks splashing its juices all over the sink.”

Here’s what the experts recommend instead:

  • Open the plastic wrap and drain any liquid into the sink before throwing out the packaging
  • Then pat the turkey dry using paper towels
  • Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly using hot water and soap afterward

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service opine that washing raw poultry (even pork, veal or lamb) prior to cooking is not ideal or recommended since the bacteria in the raw meat and the juices can spread to other utensils, surfaces or foods in the kitchen.

Several bacteria could be tightly attached to the meat and they cannot be eliminated via washing. There’s also the risk of failing to clean all kitchen surfaces where the bacteria could have spread, making it possible for cross-contamination.

A new study by the USDA experts has revealed that 60% of sinks were contaminated after handling raw turkey in the sink while washing. This implies, if you choose to prepare it in the sink, it is necessary that you completely clean and sanitize the area prior to food prep work.

The food safety advice also includes the following:

  • Tips on how to thaw a turkey safely
  • The recommendation that the stuffing be baked outside the meat

These tips are sure to rule the internet just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did in May when it had tweeted asking people to stop washing chicken before cooking.

Although people might need some time to adjust to the new recommendation, doing so eventually can help prevent several infections.

Whether you are a first-time chef or a seasoned pro, the USDA food safety experts will be available to clarify any of the questions via their Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854 between 8 a.m to 2 p.m on Thanksgiving Day.

thanksgiving turkey recipe
A super simple Thanksgiving turkey recipe. Pictured: A Guatemalan immigrant carves the Thanksgiving turkey on Nov. 24, 2016 in Stamford, Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images