Chicken of Chicken

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Got this interesting article today from Consumer’s Union:

…analysis of fresh, whole broilers bought nationwide revealed that 83 percent harbored campylobacter or salmonella, the leading bacterial causes of foodborne disease.

That’s a stunning increase from 2003, when we reported finding that 49 percent tested positive for one or both pathogens. Leading chicken producers have stabilized the incidence of salmonella, but spiral-shaped campylobacter has wriggled onto more chickens than ever. And although the U.S. Department of Agriculture tests chickens for salmonella against a federal standard, it has not set a standard for campylobacter.

Our results show there should be. More than ever, it’s up to consumers to make sure they protect themselves by cooking chicken to at least 165° F and guarding against ­cross-contamination.

Chicken is my dominant source of protein (had a great Elmo’s chicken hoagie, in fact, this evening). I like BBQ, hamburgers, steak but really can’t replace my chicken intake with comparable amounts of beef. And then there’s Mad Cow (which I’m sure a few folks are already convinced I have…).

At home I’m not worried. We buy local, and, in any case, Ellie will nail those bugs.

What about my regular restaurant rotation? Fear Mediterranean Deli’s chicken souvlaki or Bad-a-Wings great boneless chicken wings?

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