The other day we talked about washing your sheets before you used them.

The general consensus was yes, you wash your sheets before you sleep on them. Factory dyes and a process called sizing might leave chemicals on them and they might irritate your skin.

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Also responses from the peanut gallery ranged from "eww" and "gross" to "momma taught you better" and "it's mom advice so do what she said".

Ok. That brings me to my next question.

Because I'm originally from down south and my MOMMA always said (and did) wash whatever meat we got from the grocery store before we cooked it.

Please note, washing = rinsing it off with water or soaking in water and then rinsing it off. No soap or chemicals were used. Just a "rinsing" off of the meat.

Chicken, beef, pork...and mind you cuts of meat. Not this.

A variety of packages of ground beef at the supermarket
AHPhotoswpg/Getty Images

For some strange reason if it was ground, it went straight from the package to the stovetop/skillet/grill. Everything else got washed.

Weird. I just remembered/thought of that.

So I've always washed whatever meat I got from the store before I seasoned it and cooked it.

Unless it was pre-seasoned. I mean, I don't want to wash that off.

I think I'm blowing holes in my own argument here.

Let's take it to the folks that know. Introducing our good friends at the USDA.

And they got me good. First with this. They went right after momma.

Some consumers may wash or rinse their raw meat or poultry because it’s a habit or because a family member they trust has always washed their meat. Recent USDA research has found that washing or rinsing meat or poultry increases the risk for cross-contamination in the kitchen, which can cause foodborne illness. (USDA)

So the reason we're not washing the meat is because said water might splash and get on other stuff.

What about the cleanliness of the meat I just bought people? I have to wash veggies to make sure I get the stuff off of them. You're telling me the meat is safe?

While washing meat and poultry to remove dirt, slime, fat or blood may have been appropriate decades ago when many slaughtered and prepared their own food, the modern food safety system doesn’t require it. Meat and poultry are cleaned during processing, so further washing is not necessary. Never use soaps or detergents on your meat or poultry products. They can contaminate your food with chemicals and make it unsafe to eat. (USDA)

So it turns out everything I know (or thought I knew) about washing meat before I cooked it, I learned from my mom and was WRONG.

Trust, I'm going to tell her about this AND IT WON'T CHANGE A THING.

She's probably going to throw me out of her kitchen.

I'm probably still going to do it too. This is one habit that's going to be hard to break.

MORE: Grocery Shopping Tips from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration

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