Be Very Careful Eating Chickens You Buy at the Supermarket
January 16, 2007
Consumer Reports tests indicate that 83 percent of fresh, whole broiler chickens bought nationwide harbor campylobacter or salmonella, the leading bacterial causes of foodborne disease.
Campylobacter was present in 81 percent of the chickens, salmonella in 15 percent; and both in 13 percent. Only 17 percent contained neither pathogen. No major brand fared better than others overall. Most of the bacteria tested showed resistance to one or more antibiotics.Consumer Reports recommended storing chicken at 40 degrees F or below, cooking it to at least 165 degrees F, and preventing raw chicken and its juices from coming into contact with other foods.
Premium brands costing $3 to $5 per pound were actually more likely to harbor salmonella than broilers costing $1 per pound. One exception was Ranger, a no-antibiotics brand sold in the Northwest, which was extremely clean.