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December 5, 2006: Over 80% of Chicken Tested by Consumer Reports Magaz

With approximately 63 cases of E. coli O157:H7 reported in six states since the outbreak linked to Taco Bell was first uncovered in South Plainfield, New Jersey, Central New Jersey attorney, Eric H. Weinberg noted the importance, for consumers, of keeping abreast of food poisoning news.

“The series of food poisoning outbreaks this fall shows how vulnerable consumers are because of the lack of adequate regulation of our food supply,” Weinberg explained.

After testing 525 fresh whole broilers, Consumer Reports found that only 17% were not contaminated with Salmonella or Campylobacter, bacteria that can cause food poisoning in humans.

Not only were these premium brand chickens found to contain bacteria, but several strains were found to be resistant to one or more types of antibiotics. For that reason, some antibiotics might not work in the treatment of food poisoning infections caused by these bacteria, according to Consumer Reports’ Geoff Martin.

Salmonellosis, which occurs when food contaminated by Salmonella bacteria is consumed, is one of the most common foodborne illnesses. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12-72 hours. Campylobacter is typically contracted by the improper handling of raw poultry or the consumption of raw or undercooked poultry. The illness is typically characterized by diarrhea (often bloody), cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

According to Consumer Reports, individuals can protect themselves against infection from these bacteria by making sure to thoroughly cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. In addition, consumers should take proper precautions when handling raw chicken, which should always be stored in the refrigerator.

If you think that you are experiencing symptoms related to Salmonella or Campylobacter infection, you should contact your health care provider or visit your local hospital emergency room.

To learn more about Salmonella and Campylobacter, including symptoms and complications of food poisoning resulting from these bacteria and tips on preventing infection, please visit the pages of this website.

For information concerning recent food poisoning outbreaks, please see Salmonella Lawyer and Salmonella Lawsuit.

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