Ya know, I have heard lots of people talk about the dirty water that chicken is washed in. I *actually* worked in a Tyson chicken processing plant, I watched the whole process, and I have NO qualms about eating commercial chicken from a USDA inspected plant.
After they are killed, plucked and gutted, the chickens are rinsed thoroughly with running water and then chilled in ice water. The whole place is cold, about 45 degrees, so the chicken is kept chilled thru the entire cutting up and packing process. Everything in the plant is sanitized with steam and chemicals each shift.
I wish my kitchen (or the kitchen at my favorite restaurant) was as clean as as a chicken processing plant.
"Washing" chicken, as some of the other posters said, is just spreading bacteria around. Unless you are washing with soap in hot water, you are NOT killing germs, you are just getting them on everything in your kitchen.
There are, of course, bacteria on chicken--whether that chicken comes from a big plant or from my backyard. Chicken that is "mistreated"--kept too warm or kept too long or undercooked--can make you sick.
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.