Chicken feces in nearly half of all store-bought chickens tested

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chicken-parts(NaturalHealth365) Americans love chicken. Whether from factory farming or organic free range chicken, we eat an average of 84 pounds of it per person per year. However, nutrition experts from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are now warning that grocery stores and factory farming are bringing you meat contaminated with chicken feces.

Scientists from the PCRM were surprised at just how common it was to find contaminants on grocery store chicken.  For the study, chicken products from 15 U.S. grocery store chains in 10 cities were tested for E. coli bacteria as evidence of fecal contamination.

E. coli plus toxic chemicals and viruses found in store-bought chicken

Some of the chicken products from each store chain and city tested positive, and overall, 48 percent of the samples tested positive for E. coli.  In addition to feces, store-bought chickens have tested positive for toxic chemicals and even “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics.

Chicken is often treated with chlorine as part of the factory farming process in an attempt to clean it. However, the addition of this chemical only adds to the potential contaminants and carcinogens on grocery store chicken.

In poultry farms and during transportation, chickens defecate freely and are often standing in feces. Feces can also be released from the intestines during slaughter. This makes the presence of contaminants common during the processing of chicken meat.

Nearly all grocery stores and brands tested positive for toxins

Chicken meat is often rinsed with chlorinated water and inspected for visible contamination. However, factory farms and plants that process a high volume of chicken are clearly missing some of the fecal matter, as evidenced by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine study.

Chicken brands tested included Foster Farms, Gerber’s Poultry, Piggly Wiggly, Nature’s Promise, Open Nature, Publix, Red Bird Farms, Sanderson Farms, Wild Harvest Natural, Safeway O Organics, Springer Mountain Farms, Pilgrim’s, Eating Right, Harris Teeter, Harvestland, H-E-B, Smart Chicken, Roundy’s, Safeway, Super G, Supervalu, Hill Country Fare, Perdue, Murray’s and Covington Farms.

The grocery store chains tested included Fry’s, Albertsons, Dominick’s, Giant, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Pick ‘n Save, H-E-B, Jewel-Osco, Piggly Wiggly, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Ralphs, Randalls and Safeway.

Despite risk, U.S. Department of Agriculture standards are being reduced

Among the samples tested, chicken with skin on or off seemed equally at risk for contamination. Antibiotic-free chicken samples and conventional samples were both found to be contaminated at around the same levels.

Over 8 billion chickens are slaughtered each year in the U.S. However, instead of ramping up inspection procedures for factory farming, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to decrease standards and measures for keeping consumers safe from contaminants. This is despite chicken feces being found in over half of the chicken sold in stores across the U.S.

Favor organic free-range chicken over factory farming

These findings underscore the importance of thoroughly rinsing raw chicken under running water before cooking to remove contaminants. Doing so can help to clean off what the processing plant may have missed.

Of course, purchasing higher quality organic free-range chicken – from a local farmer instead of mass produced products – will greatly reduce your odds of exposure to contaminants.  In addition, be sure to cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 F to ensure food safety.


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  • Ruby Moslow

    How disguising! I don’t think I can look at chicken in the supermarket the same way. None of it will be on my dinner plate.

  • Lynn Horowitz

    I have been buying chicken packages, which say no antibiotics or hormones. This evidently is not enough assurance. Factory farmed chicken is now out of the question.

  • Toby

    I always thought free range chickens were expensive. Wrong, factory farmed chicken is too costly. Thanks to this article I realize the price may be in other than money.

  • Ben Grossman

    Can’t say I am surprised-our food supply is not clean. Given the travel time and the distance to market what else can you expect.

    • DofG

      We should expect clean chicken!

  • Jae Garrett

    The water I have to use in my shower in MA is also LOADED with CHLORINE…it is so bad when I turn the faucet on it smells like an olympic swimming pool.

  • Sue

    How much chicken goes to China for processing and then back to the USA, with no labelling required that the chickens were finished in China?
    Is the Department of Agriculture lowering its standards for chicken in order to accommodate all of this chicken from China — which may not even be the same chicken that was shipped to China from the USA?


    These findings underscore the importance of thoroughly rinsing raw chicken under running water before cooking to remove contaminants. Yet every where I have researched say that NO rinsing of chicken under the faucet as this spreads the bacteria on the sink, on counter tops and anything else in the other sink will be infected: Food safety researchers haven’t really defined a “safe water speed” for rinsing raw poultry. Any time you introduce water or a rinse, you are disturbing the bacteria on the raw poultry and making it likelier that those buggies will fly off your meat and onto some other kitchen surface — or onto you.

  • HisPurpose

    Eat mo beef, or just fruits and veggies. All that I will say is to trust the Lord Jesus.

  • vcragain

    I always wash meat before cooking – and I make sure everything like the packaging & anything that touches gets washed off before it goes into the garbage(keeps smells away), wipe off the counters, then I re-wash my hands, THEN I cook the meat/make the dish. I started doing this routine after I watched a cook on tv just take the unwashed meat from a package & throw it into the pan – had a sudden realization of what that meant, altho I had never thought about it before, and you have to watch carefully as you do the food prep because otherwise you don’t realize how many places are touched by the food, or your hands (contaminated by the unwashed food). It’s a bit like doing major surgery ! AND makes me consider being a vegetarian !