Likely the Filthiest Food on Earth, but Seen as Wholesome


Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint. It was initially printed May 15, 2019.

While there are various environmental and human well being hazards related to trendy meals manufacturing, maybe one of the urgent considerations for any given particular person is the ever-rising threat of meals poisoning.

According to preliminary knowledge from the CDC, there have been 25,606 foodborne infections, 5,893 hospitalizations and 120 deaths from meals poisoning in 2018.1 In 2017, there have been 24,484 infections, 5,677 hospitalization and 122 deaths.2

For additional comparability, between the years of 2009 and 2015 — a span of six years — there have been 5,760 reported foodborne outbreaks leading to 100,939 diseases, 5,699 hospitalizations and 145 deaths.3

According to a latest report,4 the incidence of an infection per 100,000 Americans was highest for Campylobacter, which was accountable for 19.5% of all circumstances — a 12% improve from 2015-2017 — adopted by:

Salmonella 18.3% — A 9% improve from 2015-2017

Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) 5.9% — An improve of 26% from 2015-2017

Shigella 4.9%

Vibrio 1.1% — An improve of 109% from 2015-2017

Yersinia 0.9% — An improve of 58% from 2015-2017

Cyclospora 0.7% — A 399% improve from 2015-2017

Listeria 0.3%

Chicken Is a Primary Source of Many Food-Borne Illnesses

While produce has grow to be a big supply of meals poisoning — two multistate outbreaks of STEC in 2018 have been traced again to contaminated romaine lettuce,5 for instance — uncooked hen stays a main concern. As famous within the CDC report:6

“Campylobacter has been probably the most generally recognized an infection … since 2013. It causes diarrhea, typically bloody, and 18% of individuals are hospitalized. A uncommon final result of Campylobacter an infection is Guillain-Barré syndrome, a kind of autoimmune-mediated paralysis.

Poultry is a serious supply of Campylobacter. In August 2018, FSIS [U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service] started utilizing a brand new testing technique; in a research of that technique, Campylobacter was remoted from 18% of hen carcasses and 16% of hen components sampled …

The incidence of infections with Enteritidis, the commonest Salmonella serotype, has not declined in over 10 years. Enteritidis is customized to dwell in poultry, and eggs are an essential supply of an infection.

By 2012, FDA had carried out the Egg Safety Rule, which requires preventive measures throughout the manufacturing of eggs in poultry homes and requires subsequent refrigeration throughout storage and transportation, for all farms with ≥3,000 hens.

In 2018, a multistate outbreak of Enteritidis infections was traced to eggs from a farm that had not carried out the required egg security measures after its dimension reached ≥3,000 hens.

Chicken meat can also be an essential supply of Enteritidis infections. In December 2018, FSIS reported that 22% of institutions that produce hen components failed to satisfy the Salmonella efficiency customary …”

Factory Farmed Chicken Is Notoriously ‘Dirty’

Over the years, meals testing has proven that manufacturing facility farmed chickens (i.e., chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs) are notably susceptible to contamination with harmful pathogens, together with antibiotic-resistant micro organism that make the sickness all of the tougher to deal with. For instance:

Consumer Reports testing in 2007 discovered 80% of complete hen broilers harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter,7 two of the main causes of foodborne sickness. Retesting in 2010 revealed a modest enchancment, with two-thirds being contaminated with these disease-causing micro organism.

Three years later, in 2013, Consumer Reports8 discovered doubtlessly dangerous micro organism on 97% of the hen breasts examined, and half of them had a minimum of one kind of micro organism that was resistant to a few or extra antibiotics.

A 2011 research carried out by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) discovered 48% of the 120 hen merchandise examined (obtained from 15 grocery chains in 10 U.S. cities) have been contaminated with E. coli, generally present in feces.9,10 The following 12 months, repeat testing revealed the very same consequence: 48% of hen merchandise once more examined optimistic for fecal micro organism (E. coli).11

An Environmental Working Group evaluation12,13 of meals testing completed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 discovered 36% of hen breasts, legs, thighs and wings have been contaminated with drug-resistant enterococcus faecalis, 71% of which have been proof against tetracyclines.

PCRM Sues USDA Over Failure to Address Contamination Issue

Based on its 2011 check outcomes, the PCRM filed a petition for rulemaking14 with the USDA in 2013, asking the company to deal with the difficulty of fecal contamination on hen by regulating fecal contamination as an adulterant below the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act. As famous by PCRM in its April 17, 2019, press launch:15

“Although USDA implements a ‘zero tolerance’ coverage for fecal contamination, this coverage solely applies to seen fecal contamination. Chicken merchandise move inspection so long as feces aren’t seen to the bare eye.

The lawsuit and petition quote a federal inspector who stated, ‘We often see birds going down the line with intestines still attached, which are full of fecal contamination. If there is no fecal contamination on the bird’s pores and skin, nonetheless, we are able to do nothing to cease that chook from taking place that line.

It is greater than affordable to imagine that when the chook will get into the chilliness tank (a big vat of chilly water), that contamination will enter the water and contaminate the entire different carcasses within the chiller. That’s why it’s typically known as ‘fecal soup.’”

In its petition for rulemaking, the PCRM argued that the USDA’s customary of “no visible feces” is woefully insufficient and could be thought-about “disgusting by the average consumer.” According to PCRM, fecal micro organism actually must be regulated as an adulterant.

The lawsuit arose as a result of the USDA failed to reply not solely to the PCRM’s 2013 petition but additionally to its 2017 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, during which the physicians group sought “documentation of fecal contamination rates detected in poultry slaughter plants and other data related to poultry inspection and slaughter line speed.”16

The lawsuit seeks to compel the USDA to offer a “substantive response” to its petition, in addition to a response to its FOIA request. The New Poultry Inspection System carried out by USDA in 2014 elevated allowable slaughter and processing line speeds to between 140 and 175 birds per minute. According to PCRM:

“Data show that plants operating under this model are more likely to fail USDA’s performance standards for Salmonella, a bacteria found in feces, than those operating under the traditional inspection scheme.”17

The USDA defends its customary, saying that fecal micro organism and fecal materials aren’t interchangeable phrases. KatieRose McCullough, director of regulatory and scientific affairs for the North American Meat Institute, advised The Washington Post:18

“Bacteria like E. coli are naturally present in the environment as numerous studies on all types of items from foods to phones, keyboards and toothbrushes have shown. This does not mean any of those items are contaminated with feces.”

Contaminated Chicken Is a Primary Risk Factor for UTIs

Food poisoning isn’t the one concern on the subject of contaminated hen. A type of E. coli generally known as ExPEC (extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli) has been proven to be accountable for 85% of urinary tract infections (UTIs).19 Conventional knowledge has maintained UTIs are primarily brought on by a switch of the E. coli through sexual contact with an contaminated particular person and/or the transferring of fecal micro organism out of your anus to your urethra.

However, more moderen research have proven this to be incorrect, exhibiting a majority of UTIs are the truth is the results of publicity to contaminated hen.20 What’s extra, of the 8 million UTIs occurring within the U.S. annually, an estimated 10% at the moment are proof against antibiotics, which may end up in kidney an infection and blood poisoning (sepsis).

Drug resistance has grow to be frequent sufficient that docs at the moment are suggested to check for drug resistance earlier than prescribing an antibiotic for a UTI. Part of the issue goes again to the truth that antibiotics have remained extensively utilized in agriculture for development promotion functions, permitting resistance to develop.

As early as 2005, papers have been printed exhibiting drug-resistant E. coli strains from grocery store meat matched strains present in human E. coli infections.21 American, Canadian and European research22,23,24 printed in 2012 all confirmed shut genetic matches between drug-resistant E. coli collected from human sufferers and people discovered on poultry (hen and turkey).

More just lately, a research25 printed within the journal mBio in 2018 discovered 79.8% of hen, pork and turkey samples bought from massive retail shops in Flagstaff, Arizona, have been contaminated with E. coli. The researchers additionally examined blood and urine samples from individuals who visited a serious medical middle within the space, discovering E. coli in 72.4% of these recognized with a UTI.

In specific, a pressure of E. coli generally known as E. coli ST131 confirmed up in each the meat samples (notably poultry) and the human UTI samples. Most of the E. coli within the poultry was a spread generally known as ST131-H22, which is thought to thrive in birds. This particular pressure was additionally discovered within the human UTI samples.

“Our results suggest that one ST131 sublineage — ST131-H22 — has become established in poultry populations around the world and that meat may serve as a vehicle for human exposure and infection,” the researchers famous, including that this E. coli lineage is only one of many that could be transmitted from poultry and different meat sources to folks.

Make Sure Chicken and Eggs Are Organic and Free-Range

While findings similar to those mentioned on this article are a potent reminder to prepare dinner poultry totally and deal with it rigorously throughout preparation, another choice is to skip CAFO hen completely. It’s simply one of the contaminated meals within the U.S. and likewise has a weak dietary profile in comparison with different protein sources, together with pasture-raised hen.

For instance, a research26,27,28 by the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA), which in contrast the nutrient worth of pastured chickens with the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference values for CAFO hen, discovered pasture-raised chickens contained 406.8% extra vitamin E (1.86 IUs per 100 grams in comparison with 0.367 IUs) and had a median omega-3-to-6 ratio of 1-to-5, which is close to supreme, in comparison with the USDA’s worth of 1-to-15.29

Pastured hen additionally had about half the fat of CAFO hen (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), and 11.1% extra ldl cholesterol.

Considering the hazards related to uncooked hen, should you’re going to eat it, I’d suggest ensuring it’s natural and free-range, pasture-raised. Ditto for eggs, as CAFO eggs are additionally much more susceptible to pathogenic contamination than natural pastured eggs.

Your finest wager is to discover a native supply of natural, free vary eggs. The Cornucopia Institute’s egg report and scorecard ranks 136 egg producers in keeping with 28 natural standards, is a wonderful useful resource if no native producers can be found.

In June 2017, Cornucopia additionally started engaged on a hen report and scorecard. Considering the egg report took six years to provide, it could nonetheless be some time earlier than the hen scorecard is prepared. You can contribute to this report by following the straightforward directions listed of their June 13 Action Alert.30

Commonsense Precautions When Handling Chicken

If and if you do prepare dinner hen, you’ll want to take commonsense precautions to keep away from contaminating different meals and kitchen surfaces and spreading any micro organism that could be current to your self or others. To keep away from cross-contamination between meals in your kitchen, adhere to the next suggestions:

  • Use a delegated chopping board, ideally wooden, not plastic, for uncooked meat and poultry, and by no means use this board for different meals preparation, similar to chopping up greens. Color coding your chopping boards is a straightforward method to distinguish between them
  • To sanitize your chopping board, use scorching water and detergent. Simply wiping it off with a rag is not going to destroy the micro organism
  • For an affordable, protected and efficient kitchen counter and chopping board sanitizer, use 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Keep every liquid in a separate spray bottle, after which spray the floor with one, adopted by the opposite, and wipe off. Coconut oil may also be used to wash, deal with and sanitize your wood chopping boards. It’s loaded with lauric acid that has potent antimicrobial actions. The fat will even assist situation the wooden

Also, you’ll want to wash your palms with heat water and cleaning soap earlier than and every time after you deal with the hen. The video beneath demonstrates the right way to correctly wash your palms to keep away from the spreading of micro organism.

How to Treat UTIs Without Antibiotics

Lastly, do you have to contract a UTI, listed here are some useful ideas. While cranberry juice is commonly beneficial, most cranberry juices are loaded with fructose, which tends to advertise well being issues when consumed in excessive quantities. For this cause, I don’t suggest consuming cranberry juice when you have got an an infection. Since your immune system is already taxed, including fructose into the combination is inadvisable.

A much better various is pure D-mannose, which is the lively ingredient in cranberry juice accountable for its profit to your urinary system. It may also be derived from berries, peaches, apples and different crops. Pure D-mannose is 10 to 50 instances stronger than cranberry and has been proven to remedy over 90% of UTIs inside one to 2 days. It’s unhazardous and fully protected, with no adversarial results.

I additionally suggest attempting D-mannose earlier than you resort to antibiotics, to keep away from killing off useful micro organism. Digestive issues and secondary yeast infections are frequent unwanted effects of antibiotics. D-mannose does not really kill micro organism — it simply renders them unable to remain in your urinary tract.

The cell partitions of E. coli are coated with tiny fingerlike projections known as fimbria, product of a glycoprotein known as lectin that makes them sticky. This permits them to cling to the internal partitions of your bladder and even work their method upward to your ureter and kidneys.

The lectin on the micro organism’s fimbria binds to mannose, which naturally covers the interior lining of your urinary organs. This is why they’re so troublesome to flush out. When you are taking D-mannose, the E. coli all of a sudden discover mannose molecules current not solely on the floor of your epithelial cells but additionally within the urine. As they latch on to the mannose in your urine, they’re simply expelled by your urine.

To assist flush the micro organism out, you’ll want to drink loads of clear, pure water to encourage plentiful urination. To alleviate the burning sensation, dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink the entire glass very first thing within the morning. Its alkaline nature may help neutralize or reduce the acidity of your urine, thereby making urination much less uncomfortable.


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