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Campylobacter levels in raw poultry

Chicago’s ABC7.com is reporting on a recent study conducted by Consumer Reports that revealed levels of Campylobacter and Salmonella bacterial contamination in raw chicken. Consumer Reports researcher Geoff Martin oversaw the testing.

‘We found that only 17 percent of the chicken we tested was free of both salmonella and campylobacter. And overall premium brands were a little more likely to carry salmonella,’ said Martin.

The tests revealed an even bigger worry. Often the bacteria were resistant to one or more antibiotics.

‘That means if you get sick, some antibiotics might not work,’ said Martin.

Consumer Reports also reported on concerns regarding plant testing:

In August 2006, the USDA reported that the rate of positive salmonella tests in broilers had jumped to 16.3 percent in 2005, up from 11.5 percent in 2002. Richard Lobb, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, a trade group, said it’s not clear why the rate went up in 2005, but he cited preliminary government data indicating that it has since declined. Cohen of the FSIS added that the agency has begun an initiative aimed at curbing salmonella by focusing on plants that failed the federal standard or had problems meeting it.

The full report can be found at the Consumer Reports Web site here.