Consumer reports, an independent U.S. consumer organization, has released a new survey which confirms that half of the raw chickens tested were contaminated with an antibiotic resistant superbug strain. Chicken is the most widely consumed meat in the United States. Americans are forecast to consume nearly 84 pounds per person in 2014, compared to 53 lbs of pounds of beef and 48 pounds of pork.
As a result the consumer group has advocated for stricter limits on the use of the eight classes of antibiotics currently used to treat livestock and is also advocating for allowable limits for salmonella and campylobacter bacteria in poultry.
The testing included 316 raw chicken breasts purchased from retailers nationwide during the month of July and found that 49.7 percent carried a bacterium resistant to three or more antibiotics and 11 percent had two types of bacteria resistant to multiple drugs. Resistance was most common for the antibiotics used for growth promotion and disease treatment of poultry.
In order to avoid bacterial contamination poultry should be cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.8 Celsius) and separate utensils should be used to avoid cross contamination of other foods.