Chicken Bacteria

Discussion in 'Black Health and Wellness' started by Nisa, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. Nisa

    Nisa Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jul 25, 2004
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    Resistant Bacteria Common in Grocery Store Chicken

    Most raw chicken on grocery store shelves is contaminated with at least some fecal bacteria. And most of these bacteria -- many of which can make people sick -- showed resistance to antibiotics commonly used to treat human illness.

    The researchers wanted to gauge the effectiveness of HACCP, a system intended to reduce bacterial contamination that the US Department of Agriculture mandated in chicken-processing plants beginning in 1998. While the system does seem to be working, retail grocery stores that package chicken are not regulated by HACCP and appear to be a place where contamination often occurs.

    Researchers bought chicken parts including livers, thighs and wings from seven grocery stores in two rural Alabama counties. They put the chicken parts into bacterial culture medium to see what would grow.

    Of the 253 samples they tested, 233 contained bacteria of a type capable of making people sick. Three quarters of the bacteria were fecal, which are linked to unsanitary conditions. The researchers also found bacteria indicating food spoilage in 5% of the samples.

    And 62 of the 67 samples they checked, or 93%, were resistant to at least one antibiotic, while 87% were resistant to two or more antibiotics. Resistance to a family of antibiotics called cephalosporins, which are often given to people who are allergic to penicillin, was common.

    Even when resistant bacteria are not capable of causing human disease, They can pass resistance along to other bugs that can make people sick. The findings are likely generalizable to the entire United States, the researchers state, because chicken feeding, raising, processing and packaging is so uniform across the country.