A new study by Consumer Reports takes an in-depth look at the safety of the chickens that American families eat. Consumer Reports tested whole chickens for two types of bacteria that can make a person very sick. According to Urvashi Rangan, director of Technical Policy at Consumers Union, chickens are not safe enough. Rangan told CBS News that “It’s a dirty industry and it needs to be cleaned up.”
Consumer Reports purchased 382 raw whole broiler chickens from more than 100 stores in 22 states and tested for salmonella and a dangerous bacteria called campylobacter. And in Consumer Reports’ findings, nearly two-thirds of the chickens tested had either one or both pathogens.
Koeppen said 62% of the birds had some level of campylobacter, 14% had salmonella, and 9% had both. Only 34% of the chickens were completely clean of both pathogens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates salmonella and campylobacter from chicken and other foods infect 3.3 million Americans, hospitalize over 26,000, and kill more than 650 every year.
The most recent USDA tests showed lower percentages than the Consumer Reports test for both salmonella and campylobacter. It’s important to note that while chicken processors must obey specific rules on salmonella, no federal standards for campylobacter currently exist.
Source: CBS News
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