According to a television investigation, organic chickens sold by the “big four” supermarkets in the UK contain higher levels of a food poisoning bug then factory farmed poultry.
The programme Tonight With Trevor McDonald documented scientists who tested 46 organic birds from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and found that 41 (89%) contained campylobacter, the most common bacteria that causes food poisoning. This compares to the 70% of factory farmed chickens, tested by the government, which carried the bug.
The series also analysed the birds for the antibiotic-resistant ‘superbug’ form of campylobacter and found 26% tested positive.
“I think it’s important to educate the public that organic chicken is not free of bacteria and it’s not free of campylobacter and it has to be prepared in exactly the same safe ways that non organic chicken is,” said Professor Martin Blaser, head of medicine at New York Medical school and an expert on the bacteria.