10 Things to Know Before You Eat Your Next Chicken Dinner

If you want to eat chicken in the U.S., salmonella is a risk you have to live with. Full article: http://civileats.com/2015/12/07/10-things-to-know-before-you-eat-your-next-chicken-dinner-salmonella
  1. 1.
    It’s legal to sell raw chicken that has bacteria on it that could kill you.
    According to federal data, about 25 percent of raw chicken pieces like breasts and legs are contaminated with salmonella.
  2. 2.
    Salmonella is the rare foodborne pathogen that is both common and potentially deadly.
    It sickens 1 million Americans a year.
  3. 3.
    Even when processing plants meet federal standards, they can be the source of massive outbreaks.
  4. 4.
    There’s no requirement to test chickens for salmonella where it spreads—on the farm.
    The only regulation of salmonella in our chicken meat occurs at the slaughterhouse. But healthy birds can acquire and spread the bacteria to each other long before that.
  5. 5.
    Processing plants aren’t shut down when they’re cranking out contaminated birds.
    The USDA cannot shut down poultry processing plants even when they have violated its salmonella standard year after year.
  6. 6.
    Efforts to reform the system have been opposed by the industry and failed.
    Industry lobbyists have fought attempts to crack down on salmonella.
  7. 7.
    Avoiding industrial chicken by buying local isn’t any safer.
    An analysis of more than nine years of USDA data shows that samples taken from very small processing plants had higher rates of salmonella than those from small or large ones.
  8. 8.
    Raising backyard chickens won’t protect you, either.
    As backyard chickens have become more popular, salmonella outbreaks from live poultry have risen, too.
  9. 9.
    Antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella are on the rise.
  10. 10.
    Other countries don’t stand for salmonella the way we do.
    After a spike in salmonella infections from chickens in the '80s, Denmark managed to reduce salmonella in its chicken to almost nil. The country now goes years without a single reported illness from salmonella in its chicken meat.