Study Finds A Shocking Amount Of Salmonella And E. Coli On Store-Bought Chicken Breasts

There is harmful bacteria crawling all over the chicken breasts you cook with, according to an eye-opening study by Consumer Reports.

The magazine tested for bacteria on more than 300 chicken breasts purchased from various retailers, including supermarkets and regionally owned grocery stores, in 26 states. The selection included products from national brands including Perdue, Tyson, Pilgrim’s and Sanderson Farms, as well as no-brand chicken.

Consumers Reports found that 97% of the breasts were tainted with at least one of six bacterias that can make people sick, including salmonella, campylobacter, and staphylococcus aureus (common causes of food poisoning); E. coli and enterococcus (which indicate faecal contamination); and klebsiella pneumoniae (a bug that can cause infections such as pneumonia).

Nearly 80% of the samples tested positive for enteroccoccus, followed by E. coli (65%), campylobacter (43%), klebsiella pneumoniae (13.6%), salmonella (10.8%) and staph (9.2%).

Half the samples also tested positive for at least one drug-resistant bacterium.

Alarmingly, the magazine found no significant difference in the amount of bacteria present on chicken labelled as “organic” or “antibiotic free.”

Here’s a summary of the results:

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