It’s a fact that people in the United States eat more chicken than any other meat. However, according to food safety experts, chicken is the meat most likely to be contaminated with salmonella. Now, troubling new information has come to light revealing how unsafe chicken really is. As reported by Mother Jones, a new study released by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service division claims that the process for testing salmonella levels in chicken may not be that reliable.
USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) division is required to ensure that meat entering the food supply is safe. It routinely tests chicken in slaughterhouses for salmonella. It turns out, however, that the process for testing chickens can generate false negative results. This means that salmonella-infected chickens are likely entering the food supply undetected.
Part of the reason the FSIS testing process is not entirely reliable is that birds are tested while they are still in the middle of the processing line, not at the end of it. Tests discovered salmonella in 26.2 percent of chickens tested at the end of the line, about six times the rate of salmonella in chickens tested in the middle of the line.
Although a different testing protocol would improve accuracy, FSIS has not made a change. Not surprisingly, in response to this study, FSIS claimed that the current method is accurate. However, it also states that the “maximum acceptable rate for positive salmonella tests is 15.4 percent. Scary, right?! Even scarier? Salmonella in chicken does not trigger a recall. This means that people who eat chicken could be exposed to salmonella at much higher rates than expected.
Salmonella is a huge public health problem that can send people to the hospital, or in rare cases, even kill them. Unfortunately, the number of people affected by salmonella poisoning has not significantly declined over the past 15 years.
Chicken is gross for reasons beyond salmonella. Numerous undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals expose the routine abuse of chickens from hatchery to slaughterhouse. MFA has caught workers kicking, throwing, and beating chickens, and even stomping them to death. Living conditions for these poor animals are also horrific.
With all this uncertainty about salmonella, is it worth it? The best way to avoid salmonella and prevent animal abuse is not to eat animals. Visit ChooseVeg.com to get started.