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Recently we reported on research showing that the more chickens are stressed, the more likely they are to carry campylobacter, which is a leading cause of food poisoning.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) reports that this bacteria can be found in almost all raw poultry. Even one drop of juice from a raw chicken is enough to cause food poisoning in humans.
Now FoodProductionDaily.com reports that a new study in Britain has found that Campylobacter was detected on the external packaging of 40 percent of fresh chickens on sale in shops across one major UK city.
All of this means that you should always handle industrial chickens with great care, even before you open the package in your kitchen. Our recommendations include:
*Seek a local source for poultry that is raised in more humane, less stressful conditions.
*If you opt to buy industrial poultry, place the packages into their own plastic bags before you put them into your cart with other foods.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Campylobacter infection can be avoided in the kitchen by cooking chicken until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and thoroughly washing your hands, utensils, countertops and especially cutting boards after handling raw poultry, to prevent cross-contamination of other foods.
Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on Google+.