Your Chicken Dinner Probably Has Poop In It

Rant 32

chickenAnd in today's Gross Food News: Your chicken is probs covered in poop. I will pause while you shudder. Actually, it's not that bad, really. There's something like a 50/50 chance that there's no poop on your chicken. There, does that make you feel better?

Now that pink slime has been vanquished, more or less, researchers wondered to themselves what other meat horrors we could dig up. So they went and bought 120 raw chicken products from grocery stores in 10 major American cities and tested them all for E. coli. AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED? Do you really want to know?

What a delightful surprise! A whole 52% of those chickens were poop-free. That's the glass half-full interpretation. Now let's go to the dark side: 48% of the chickens were contaminated with E. coli. Ew.

So now you know. How many of us have chicken in our refrigerators right now? My family ate a roast chicken for dinner just last night -- which is why I'm glad I didn't hear this news until today.

Anyway, supposedly this wasn't the death-y kind E. coli. Just the kind linked to urinary tract infections, ladies. And supposedly washing your chicken might help, especially if you wash it with antibacterial soap, which as we all know tastes even better with chicken than a lukewarm chardonnay.

And given how well we're doing these days with food safety, this doesn't make me feel super confident about our chicken. We just heard that instead of seriously demanding limits to antibiotics in meat (or an outright ban on its use for healthy animals) the utterly useless puppet FDA is kinda-sorta offering "guidance" that suggests that the meat producers voluntarily reduce their use of antibiotics. You know, if they can find it in the kindness of their hearts.

Which means nothing will change.

Ugh, now I'm frothing at the mouth. You see? THIS is why I've stopped buying meat at the grocery store at all! Antibiotics, E. coli -- this is all the result of our massive meat industrial complex. I get my meat directly from farms, or from my local butcher. I know not everyone has those options, and that sucks. Something has got to give. I just can't see how we can take any more of these gross meat exposes.

Does this story about E. coli on sicken you, or are you okay with it?


Image via snowpea&bokchoy/Flickr


food safety, grocery shopping


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Stacey. Stacey.

I assume all my meat is contaminated until it is washed and cooked thoroughly.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Doesn't bother me. You'd have to be living under a rock not to know how dangerous your typical portion of meat is at this point. If people want to take that risk that's their business. They could always choose to avoid it, eat a healthier diet and save some cash in the process.

jasmi... jasmineg86

i'm with stacey.. i assume food is disgusting unless washed, prepared and adequatly cooked by me. (i give passes to local growers and farms though.) our food industry isnt in any way interested in protecting consumers- just not getting sued. there are far too many food recalls to think any differently. all you can do is know the risks you accept with purchase.

amomm... amommy2jack

Of course you can avoid contaminated meat, but then you still have to deal with contaminated cantaloupe, grapes, spinach, sprouts, etc....I don't really think any food gets off scott free anymore. Prepare your food carefully and avoid cross contamination for best results all around.

mmtos... mmtosam06

Yep im not buying meat anymore.

nursemc nursemc

I'm going to assume they mean chicken poop and not human poop. All animals shit when they die, of course slaughterhouses are going to be full of the stuff. Just rinse it off, you'll be fine. Now, tell me they found that much chicken with traces of human poop and then I'll consider it newsworthy.

Sharan Kaur

One part vinegar ( organic) and ten parts water...soak it for 15 minutes...its kills everything. Use it for fruits, vegetable and meat.

mande... manderspanders

If you wash your hands and cook your meat, then there is no problem.

Lisa Kramer Hurley

If you checked each and every surface of each and every home, you would find that probably about 80% of the surfaces contain E-coli... and other harmful bacteria... Each time you flush a toilet in your home, the minute water particles containing urine and feces travels approximately 90 feet!  That's why we teach children to wash their hands before they eat, and why we try to maintain a clean kitchen, and avoid cross contamination... but luckily our bodies are the best defence against illness.  We have a very successful rate of containment of bacteria, that is called our immune system.  So worrying about 48% of unwashed chicken, is kind of like worrying about touching the toilet seat when we pee, but not washing our hands after!  Use good hygiene habits, and wash your hands, and food, plus cook it well and eat reasonable amounts of every food group, and your immune system should do the rest to protect you! 

Todd Vrancic

I'm with the majority of commenters, if you use safe kitchen practices, it doesn't matter.

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