Study Finds 48% of Chicken Could Be Tainted by Poop
But the strain of E. coli found won't make you sick, say experts
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 12, 2012 8:12 AM CDT
A woman picks out a chicken at a grocery store in this file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – There's a pretty good chance your chicken has been contaminated by poop. Some 120 chickens bought from grocery stores in 10 major cities were tested in a new study, which found that 48% were contaminated by E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination, the New York Times reports. "Most consumers do not realize that feces are in the chicken products they purchase," says the president of the group that conducted the study, which advocates a vegetarian diet.

But food safety specialists say the study isn't worth clucking over, both because its sample size is so small (42 million pounds of raw chicken occupy grocery store shelves each day), and because the strain of E. coli it tested for isn't actually harmful (though the study head points to research linking it to urinary tract infections). "What’s surprising to me is that they didn’t find more," says one doctor. "Poop gets into your food." Some samples did have E. coli levels higher than the Department of Agriculture allows for birds leaving a processing plant, but experts say it's impossible to know how much bacteria developed en route to the store.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Your Take
4% of people agree
that it's Depressing
Check Out Another Depressing Story
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 28 comments
Apr 13, 2012 5:56 AM CDT
So what? How often do you get sick from it? Why are people so scared of their food and where it comes from, if you can't deal with the fact that meat has blood, skin, veins, and yes sometimes interacts with poop maybe they shouldn't eat meat. Vegetables come from dirt and they taste the best when fertilized with poop! We are so disconnected from the reality of where our food actually comes from and how it gets to the table that people just want to unwrap a food from its plastic shield where its sterile and processed into something they call food!
Apr 12, 2012 9:06 PM CDT
Well, I believe that washing and then COOKING the chicken pretty much solves the problem! Who would have imagined such an idea!
Apr 12, 2012 4:00 PM CDT
this is a pretty chicken shit way of doing business.