Horrifying Facts Behind ‘Chicken’ || చికెన్ గురించి మీకు తెలియని భయంకర నిజాలు || With Subtitles
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The Scary Truth About Chicken
Bacteria such as salmonella, Campylobacter, and Enterococcus live in the guts of chickens naturally. They won’t harm the birds, but they can live on after passing through the intestinal tract and into the litter. If a bird is raised in feces-laden litter, the bacteria are easily spread to other chickens and increase in number. The bugs may even transfer onto vegetables in the fields where farmers spread poultry poop as fertilizer. And ultimately, they may end up in you after a chicken dinner.
Even though the USDA inspects processing plants, independent studies show that almost all supermarket chicken harbors bacteria. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System found that among supermarket chicken breasts sampled between 2002 and 2010, an average of 83 percent were contaminated with E. coli, 47 percent with Campylobacter, and 13 percent with salmonella. In 2013, Consumer Reports bought 316 packages of chicken breasts from supermarkets across the country. It found that 97 percent had bacteria, including salmonella, Campylobacter, and Enterococcus.
If you don’t properly handle and cook poultry, these bacteria may cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. Severe illness and death are likeliest in the very young, the very old, and anyone with weakened immunity. In fact, from 1998 to 2008, more deaths from foodborne pathogens were attributed to poultry than any other food. But foodborne illness is a fatal footnote to a much bigger problem: antibiotic resistance.
If you viewed chicken litter under a microscope, you’d see a primordial stew of mutating microorganisms. “It’s like this giant mixing pot for the evolution of these bacteria,” says Lance Price, Ph.D., a public health researcher at George Washington University. Price studies the DNA of bacteria, and he’s increasingly worried that antibiotics’ effectiveness is waning. “The CDC, WHO—everybody calls this one of the greatest threats we face today in terms of public health,” he says. “We can’t be using these antibiotics like cheap production tools.”
Price went to the Morison farm back in 2007, when it was still under contract with Perdue. In a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, he reported that poultry workers were 32 times as likely as people outside the industry to be carrying antibiotic-resistant E. coli. Plus, there’s the nausea-inducing “pursuit” study from Johns Hopkins back in 2008: Researchers drove behind poultry transport trucks for 17 miles. These dedicated scientists left their car windows open, and after the trek they took samples from their cars. Their lab tests found that significant amounts of antibiotic-resistant bacteria had spread to the air and landed on surfaces inside the cars. These bugs are hardy. They’re everywhere, and they’d like to make a home inside you.
That Consumer Reports research found that about half of the samples had at least one bacterium that showed resistance to three or more drugs or classes of drugs that would normally be effective against them. In 2013 a particularly powerful salmonella outbreak originated from the U.S. chicken supplier Foster Farms. The flare-up featured the multidrug-resistant Heidelberg strain, which sent twice as many people (254, in 29 states) to the hospital as a typical salmonella outbreak would.
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