Don’t Let That Chicken Make You Sick

Photo (cc) by YoAmes

If you love chicken — and it is America’s favorite meat — this is probably news you don’t want to see.

Consumer Reports purchased 316 raw chicken breasts from grocery stores in 26 states and tested them for six strains of bacteria. They discovered that 97 percent of the samples contained some form of bacteria that can lead to illness.

Here are some other startling statistics from CR’s study:

  • 79.8 percent contained enterococcus, which indicates fecal contamination.
  • 65.2 percent contained E. coli, which also indicates fecal contamination.
  • 43 percent contained campylobacter, a contaminant that causes diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever.
  • 13.6 percent contained klebsiella pneumoniae, which can lead to a respiratory illness.
  • 10.8 percent contained salmonella.
  • 9.2 percent contained staphylococcus aureus, a contaminant that can cause infection when introduced to broken skin.
  • 49.7 percent of the samples displayed traces of a multidrug-resistant bacterium.

The study said there was “no significant difference in the average number of types of bacteria between conventional samples and those labeled no antibiotics or organic.”

On the same day that report came out this week, the Pew Charitable Trusts issued its own report about two salmonella outbreaks linked to Foster Farms chicken. Says the Los Angeles Times:

At the core of both findings are calls to strengthen government oversight in the $70 billion poultry industry. Doing so would help reduce incidents of food-borne illness, which sickens 48 million people and kills 3,000 in the U.S every year.

“When more than 500 people get sick from two outbreaks associated with chicken that meets federal safety standards, it is clear that those standards are not effectively protecting public health,” Sandra Eskin, director of Pew’s food safety project, said in a statement.

The government is already taking some steps. Says the LA Times, “Coincidentally, the two studies arrive the same month the federal government outlined major new policies to tackle salmonella in poultry and address the over-use of antibiotics in raising meat.” Check out the story for more details.

How can you protect yourself from bacteria on raw chicken? Consumer Reports suggests that you:

  • Save the chicken for last when you’re shopping at the grocery store, and place it in a plastic bag.
  • Use a cutting board to prevent cross contamination and clean thoroughly afterward.
  • Thoroughly wash the chicken before cooking it.
  • Always wash your hands after handling raw poultry.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of cooked chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

Were you aware of the dangers posed by chicken? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again

Make the wrong food choices, and you can ruin your health — and possibly shorten your life.

13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

What’s the Difference Between FICO and VantageScore Credit Scores?
What’s the Difference Between FICO and VantageScore Credit Scores?

There are lots of credit scores out there, but if you’re keeping an eye on your credit, here’s the one to watch.

26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car

These tools and conveniences help protect drivers from hassles and calamities on the road.

Never Buy These 19 Things Online
Never Buy These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.