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chicken breasts contain harmful bacteriaThe news seem startling. A new study in the United States has revealed that 97% of chicken breasts used at different stores offering chicken across the United States contain harmful bacteria. The investigators also came to know through the study that half of the chicken samples contained one type of bacteria which was resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics. Researchers revealed that the test was carried on 316 raw chicken breasts which contained bacteria like Enterococcus and E.Coli that was linked to fecal contamination. Did you know that 17% of E. Coli was responsible to cause urinary tract infections.

The study also divulged that bacteria on the chicken was more resistant to antibiotics used to promote chicken growth and prevent poultry disease. These findings also suggest that consumers who have been purchasing chicken breast from their local grocery stores may get sick from resistant bacteria and the follow-up treatment may get harder. The researchers have been testing United States chicken since 1998. This study can said to be one of a kind which was able to look at six different bacteria. The contamination in chicken consisted of enterococcus (80 percent), E Coli (65 percent), Klebsiella pneumonia (14 percent), Campylobacter (43 percent), Salmonella (11 percent) and staphylococcus aurcus.

It is really unfortunate that in the U.S., 48 million people become sick and 3,000 die due to eating tainted food. US Centres For Disease Control and Prevention has also divulged that contaminated poultry has remained the leading cause of such deaths. Consumer Union has echoed their voice stressing on the fact that federal government should protect Americans. Like the government should provide U.S. Department of Agriculture the power to recall meat and poultry products and also prohibit antibiotic use in food animals, except in treating sick ones.

Moreover the consumer report has also offered following tips in ensuring proper handling and cooking of chicken:

Before preparing chicken you have to wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before touching anything else when you handle any type of meat or poultry viz., frozen or fresh.

You should also designate a cutting board which should be used solely for raw meat and poultry. After using this board wash it immediately with hot soapy water or you can put it in the dishwasher.

You should ensure not to run faucet water over chicken before cooking. You can also use meat thermometer and can cook chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have been shopping purchase meat in the end of your shopping before heading towards your home.

Place chicken in a plastic bag so as to prevent it from contaminating other food items.

Moreover, don’t be fooled by advertisement claiming chicken as “natural” and “free range”.

Credits: Consumer Reports.org – www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/the-high-cost-of-cheap-chicken/index.htm

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