Saturday, January 18, 2014

Supermarket Chicken found loaded with superbugs



I hope chicken’s not on the menu tonight, because I’ve got some news that’s bound to spoil your appetite: Just about every package of chicken you could buy at a supermarket is crawling with germs.

A full 97 percent of all chicken recently sampled by Consumer Reports tested positive for disease-causing bacteria — and many of those germs are of the fecal variety.
Yes, chicken… well… chicken you-know-what.

Four out of five chickens tested positive for the poop germ enterococcus, while E. coli was found in 65 percent. Many of the chickens also contained a virtual All-Star Team of the Food Poisoning League: campylobacter, klebsiella pneumonia, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus.

Believe it or not, that’s not even the worst of the news — because half of all packaged chicken contains bacteria resistant to at least three classes of medication, and 11 percent contained two or more of these drug-resistant germs, according to the study.

That means getting sick off your chicken could lead to more than just a few days locked in the bathroom, battling leaks from both ends.

No, getting sick off your chicken could mean a battle for your life with a tough-to-beat or even untreatable superbug infection. (And some of the treatments that do work are even more nauseating than a plate of undercooked chicken — read this to learn more.)

Now, I happen to like chicken, especially the dark meat, and I’m sure you do too — and I’d hate for anyone to have to give it up. The good news is you don’t have to.

Drug resistant bugs are created by exposure to drugs. Basic, yes, but factory farms haven’t quite grasped this yet. They’re pumping chickens full of antibiotics because the drugs make the birds so fat they can barely walk.

As I told you recently, this problem is not about to get better anytime soon.

But you can beat the bugs and drugs alike by getting organic chickens from small local farms. Since they’re not given drugs, they’re less likely to have the worst bugs — and you’re less likely to get sick.
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