97% of All Chicken Breasts in U.S. Found to Contain Harmful Bacteria
Long considered a healthy protein source, chicken meat in the United States is actually loaded with harmful bacteria, according to a new consumer research study.
Almost all chicken breasts tested by Consumer Reports—97%—tested positive for dangerous bacteria. The samples (300 of them) included chicken from organic and non-organic brands.
The research also found that more than half of the samples contained fecal matter, and about 50% had at least one bacterium that’s resistant to three or more commonly prescribed antibiotics.
Consumer Reports pointed out that 48 million Americans become ill each year from eating food tainted with salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli, or other contaminants.
In fact, more people died from eating tainted chicken than any other contaminated food source from 1998 through 2008, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Salmonella outbreaks involving chicken have become common in the U.S. So it’s no wonder that while Consumer Reports was testing samples, a major salmonella scare linked to three Foster Farms chicken plants occurred. That particular episode sickened 389 people, 40% of whom had to be hospitalized.
To Learn More:
The High Cost of Cheap Chicken (Consumer Reports)
Weaknesses in FSIS’s Salmonella Regulation (Pew Charitable Trusts) (pdf)
Why Foster Farms Hasn’t Recalled Chickens after Salmonella Poisonings (Ken Broder, AllGov California)
Leafy Greens Leading Source of Food Poisoning; Bad Chicken Leading Source of Death (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Limited Study Finds E. Coli in almost Half of Raw Chicken Products (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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