Update: Consumer poultry report greeted by scepticism
Consumer Reports said tests on 525 chickens â€”
including samples from Perdue, Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson Foods â€” showed most of
the poultry had campylobacter or salmonella, two of the leading causes of
food-borne diseases. A test conducted in 2003 showed 49% of the birds had at
least one of the bacteria.
83% of chicken sold in US grocery stores may contain
bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses, 34 percentage points higher than the
rate it found three years ago.
Critics, however, said the
study by Consumer Reports
suffered from flaws that included an unreliably
small number of samples. A US
spokesman called the report "junk science."
Steven Cohen, a spokesman with the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection
Service, said the study was riddled with flaws such as a small sample size and
uncertainty over methodology.
"We think it's really startling," said Jane
Halloran, a policy director for Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer
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