God made a farmer

February 9, 2013

Poultry Products Rarely Tested for Contamination, Cause 1.5 Million Illnesses a Year

Nearly half the chicken products marketed by national brands and sold in supermarkets are contaminated with feces, according to laboratory test results of chicken samples from 15 grocery store chains in 10 major U.S. cities. The testing was conducted by an independent analytical testing laboratory at the request of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

PCRM investigated chickens from Perdue, Pilgrim’s, and Sanderson Farms, as well as 22 other popular brands. Testing revealed that 48 percent of the chicken samples tested positive for fecal contamination, indicated by the presence of coliform bacteria commonly found in chicken dung. The bacterial species E. coli is a type of coliform bacteria and a specific indicator used by slaughter and processing plants to check for fecal contamination of food products and water.

Chicken samples from every city and every grocery store chain tested positive. In Dallas, 100 percent of the chicken bought at the Kroger’s store tested positive for fecal matter. In Washington, D.C., 83 percent of the chicken bought at a Giant store and 67 percent of the chicken bought at a Safeway tested positive. Samples were also tested in Charleston, S.C., Milwaukee, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, and San Diego.

“One in every two supermarket chickens is contaminated with feces,” says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. “Meat packers can’t avoid contaminating poultry products during production, and consumers are cooking and eating chicken feces in about half the cases.”

Skinless chicken breast was particularly likely to have fecal traces, and both “organically produced” and “conventional” products were frequently contaminated.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now considering privatizing poultry inspection. The proposal would reduce the time poultry workers have to inspect each carcass for feces and could result in more contaminated chicken products reaching supermarket shelves.

The results of independent lab tests were as follows:

Fecal Contamination of Chicken Products in 10 U.S. Cities
City Grocery Store Chicken Products with Fecal Contamination
Charleston, S.C.
Harris Teeter
Chicago, Ill.
Dallas, Texas Albertsons
Denver, Colo.
Houston, Texas
Miami, Fla.
Milwaukee, Wis.
Pic ‘n Save
Piggly Wiggly
Phoenix, Ariz.
San Diego, Calif.
Washington, D.C.
* Indicates a store where retesting was performed; retesting found that 60 percent of the samples were positive for fecal contamination.

A 2009 USDA study found that 87 percent of chicken carcasses tested positive for E. coli after chilling and just prior to packaging. Every year, contaminated poultry products cause approximately 1.5 million illnesses, 12,000 hospitalizations, and 180 deaths. However, most people eating cooked chicken feces have no symptoms and are unaware of what they have ingested.



Chili’s Molten Lava Cake – 1,070 calories, 51 g fat, (26 g saturated), 143 carbs

And no wonder restaurants don’t want to post the nutritional info on their menus.

These aren’t the worst offenders–but here’s a sampling of some of the meals that even health-conscious folks might consider ordering.

Marie Callender’s Spanish Omelette:  1,550 calories, 78 g fat (25 g saturated), 2,980 mg sodium

Baja Fresh Chips and Gaucamole:  1,340 calories, 83 g fat (8 g saturated), 950 mg sodium

California Pizza Kitchen Tuscan Hummus with pita:  861 calories, 4 g satuated fat, 1,562 mg sodium

Ruby Tuesday Buffalo Shrimp Quesadilla:  1,465 calories, 89 g fat, 3,528 mg sodium

Houlihan’s Fire Grilled BBQ Salmon Salad:  1,182 calories, 61 g fat (9 g saturated), 1,719 mg sodium

T.G.I. Friday’s Santa Fe Chopped Salad:  1,800 calories

Panera Bread Tuna Salad on Honey Wheat Sandwich: 750 calories, 47 g fat (9 g saturated), 1,130 mg sodium

Chipotle Grilled Chicken Fajita Burrito:  870 calories, 30 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,940 sodium

Thank you to the Healthy Librarian at:


Food contamination

October 3, 2011

This photo illustration shows a range of food that can easily be contaminated. Illustration by Brandon Quester/News21




September 29, 2011

Obesity: We’re #1!

April 4, 2011

 Rank   Country     Amount   
# 1    United States: 30.6%  
# 2    Mexico: 24.2%  
# 3    United Kingdom: 23%  
# 4    Slovakia: 22.4%  
# 5    Greece: 21.9%  
# 6    Australia: 21.7%  
# 7    New Zealand: 20.9%  
# 8    Hungary: 18.8%  
# 9    Luxembourg: 18.4%  
# 10    Czech Republic: 14.8%  
# 11    Canada: 14.3%  
# 12    Spain: 13.1%  
# 13    Ireland: 13%  
# 14    Germany: 12.9%  
= 15    Portugal: 12.8%  
= 15    Finland: 12.8%  
# 17    Iceland: 12.4%  
# 18    Turkey: 12%  
# 19    Belgium: 11.7%  
# 20    Netherlands: 10%  
# 21    Sweden: 9.7%  
# 22    Denmark: 9.5%  
# 23    France: 9.4%  
# 24    Austria: 9.1%  
# 25    Italy: 8.5%  
# 26    Norway: 8.3%  
# 27    Switzerland: 7.7%  
= 28    Japan: 3.2%  
= 28    Korea, South: 3.2%  
 Weighted average: 14.1%   

DEFINITION: Percentage of total population who have a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30 Kg/sq.meters Obesity rates are defined as the percentage of the population with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. The BMI is a single number that evaluates an individual’s weight status in relation to height (weight/height2, with weight in kilograms and height in metres). For Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, figures are based on health examinations, rather than self-reported information. Obesity estimates derived from health examinations are generally higher and more reliable than those coming from self-reports, because they preclude any misreporting of people’s height and weight. However, health examinations are only conducted regularly in a few countries (OECD).

SOURCE: OECD Health Data 2005