Chicken-Borne Illnesses Are On The Rise

rexusa_761222iPhoto: Rex USA.
Those McNuggets have been having a rough time lately. A few months back, Consumer Reports found that up to half of US-grown chicken breasts were contaminated with at least one antibiotic-resistant "superbug" bacteria. Today, a new survey released by the CDC brings more bad news (especially for those of us who practically live on grilled skinless chicken breasts). Infections stemming from campylobacter, a bacteria usually found in raw poultry and dairy products, have risen 13% since 2008.
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There's even worse news for another one of our favorite foods: The report found a huge jump (over 30% in the past year) in the number of infections caused by vibrio, a bacterium found on raw seafood, such as Atlantic Coast oysters. In fact, the rate of vibrio-related infections is the highest since the CDC began measuring them in 1996. Sorry, East Coasters — looks like it's time to move west for your oysters.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. Cases of salmonella have dipped in the last year, and food poisoning cases overall have remained steady over the past few years. It's also important to point out that if your chicken is fully cooked (that is, heated to 165 degrees), you should be home free. Still, with all this superbug hysteria and campylobacter craziness, we're thinking seriously about switching to turkey. (CDC)
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