Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dirty Chicken

According to a recent analysis from the Consumer Report of fresh, whole broilers bought at stores nationwide, two-thirds harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter, the leading bacterial causes of foodborne disease.

Foster Farms, Perdue, Tyson, 30 nonorganic store brands, nine organic store brands, and nine organic name brands have been analyzed. The findings are a bit alarming. Here is a summary:

  • Campylobacter was in 62 percent of the chickens, salmonella was in 14 percent, and both bacteria were in 9 percent. Only 34 percent of the birds were clear of both pathogens.
  • Store-brand organic chickens had no salmonella at all, but 57 percent of those birds harbored campylobacter.
  • The cleanest name-brand chickens were Perdue's: 56 percent were free of both pathogens. Most contaminated were Tyson and Foster Farms chickens. More than 80 percent tested positive for one or both pathogens.
  • Among all brands and types of broilers tested, 68 percent of the salmonella and 60 percent of the campylobacter organisms we analyzed showed resistance to one or more antibiotics.

Avoid cross contamination at the kitchen by washing your hands and all material that was in contact with raw chicken. Cooking chicken to at least 165 degree is a must!

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