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To wash or not wash your meat?

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MACON, Ga. -- Question: Do you wash meat before cooking it? And if not, do you think you should?

Macon local Macy Amos says sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn’t.

“If I’m going to grill it, I’m not going to wash it off," she said. "But if I’m going to bake it or fry it in a frying pan, then I wash it off.”

Another local Chris Barroso says for him it’s a definite yes.

“I worked in kitchens for a long time and you never know where your meat has been between getting from the factory to your house,” he said.

From the farm, to the factory, to your kitchen counter.

Richard Craft of the Georgia Department of Public Health says he’s ready to put all your questions to rest.

“We don’t recommend washing your meat -- whether it be poultry beef venison or any pork," he said. "Simply because the advantages of washing the meat -- you wash off some of the bacteria, but not all of it.”

Craft says the risk of cross contamination outweighs the benefits.

The department of public health breaks it down like this: “Saying some consumers think that they are removing bacteria however some bacteria is so tightly attached you could not remove them no matter how many times you washed.”

Craft tells me the main bacteria most people are worried about is salmonella and e. Coli.

“Actually, it’s the cooking process that takes care of eradicating the bacteria -- not the washing process,” he says.

Mijah Fuller and Brian Mullen says despite this, they will keep wash washing their meat.

"We are going to continue to wash our meat. Like I said, the surrounding of when the butcher cuts it and you never know where it's at before it gets to your counter."

Craft says washing your meat all comes down to personal preference, but the reality is it serves of no real benefit in consumer safety. To really kill bacteria, make sure to cook all meat to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

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