The bone-chilling reason should never rinse your Thanksgiving turkey

When it comes to cooking a turkey, many people wonder -- "to rinse or not to rinse, that is the question.” Don’t rinse ... that is the answer!

According to the FDA, washing raw meat and poultry “makes it more likely for bacteria to spread to areas around the sink and countertops.”

An article by the Association of Public Health Laboratories, published in Food Safety News, suggests rinsing your bird could cause salmonella-contaminated bacteria to hit the air -- spreading as far as three feet.

RELATED: Best and worst Thanksgiving foods for your health:

17 PHOTOS
The best and worst Thanksgiving foods for your health
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The best and worst Thanksgiving foods for your health

BEST: White turkey meat

Nutrition (per 3 oz. serving): 115 calories and 7 grams of fat

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WORST: Dark turkey meat

Nutrition (per 3 oz. serving): 160 calories and 11 grams of fat

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BEST: Green bean casserole

Nutrition (per 3/4 cup serving): 161 calories, 9 g fat 

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WORST: Sweet potato casserole

Nutrition (per 3/4 cup serving): 285 calories, 5 g fat 

BEST: Dinner roll with dollop of butter

Nutrition (1 roll): 140 calories and 4.5 g fat

WORST: Stuffing

Nutrition (per 3/4 cup serving): 371 calories and 19 g of fat 

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BEST: Gravy

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup serving): 30 calories and 1.5 g fat

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WORST: Cranberry jelly

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup serving): 110 calories and 0 g fat

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BEST: Pumpkin pie

Nutrition (per slice -- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie): 316 calories and 14 g of fat

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WORST: Apple pie

Nutrition (per slice -- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie): 411 calories and 19 g of fat

BEST: Brussel sprouts 

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 56 calories and 4 g protein

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WORST: Mashed potatoes with whole milk and margarine

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 237 calories and 9 g of fat

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BEST: Cooked spinach

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 41 calories and 5 g of protein

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WORST: Corn bread

Nutrition (1 piece -- around 60 oz.): 198 calories and 9 g of fat

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BEST: Corn with a pat of butter

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 95 calories and 5 g of fiber

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WORST: Mac and cheese

Nutrition (per 1 cup of serving): 310 calories and 9 g of fat

(Getty)

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And even if you don't have dishes or cutting boards near the sink, the handles and faucets themselves may be getting contaminated.

Nobody needs that! But even without rinsing, it’s best to keep everything as far away from the turkey prep splash zone as possible.

Also, nasty bacteria aside, Pop Sugar suggests rinsing it could make your turkey skin steam instead of getting crispy, and getting the turkey just right is stressful enough around the holidays!

What is the best thing to do? Just remove the turkey from the package and blot it dry with paper towels. Your family will thank you for keeping them safe.

RELATED: Stores that will be closed for Black Friday and Thanksgiving:

36 PHOTOS
Stores that will be closed for Thanksgiving, Black Friday 2017
See Gallery
Stores that will be closed for Thanksgiving, Black Friday 2017

REI

-Closed on Thanksgiving & Black Friday

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Costco 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Crate & Barrel

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Home Depot

-Closed on Thanksgiving

IKEA

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Marshalls 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Lowe's

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Cabela's

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Neiman Marcus

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Petco

-Closed on Thanksgiving

TJ Maxx

-Closed on Thanksgiving

A.C. Moore

-Closed on Thanksgiving

ABT Electronics

-Closed on Thanksgiving

BJ's Wholesale Club

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Burlington Coat Factory

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Cost Plus World Market

-Closed on Thanksgiving

DSW

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Guitar Center

-Closed on Thanksgiving

H&M

-Closed on Thanksgiving

HomeGoods

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Apple

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Half Price Books 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Hobby Lobby

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Getty)

Jo-Ann Stores

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Getty)

Nordstrom

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Nordstrom Rack

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Office Depot 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(REUTERS/Mike Blake)

OfficeMax 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Getty)

Pier 1 Imports

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Jos. A. Bank 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

P.C. Richard & Son

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Photo by Jb Reed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Party City 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

Patagonia

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Publix 

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Getty)

West Marine

-Closed on Thanksgiving

(Photo by John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

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