- Every one of the four major brands we tested (Perdue, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, and Tyson) contained worrisome amounts of bacteria, even the chicken breasts labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic.” (See a list of all of the brands we tested (PDF), including those with a "No Antibiotics" or "Organic" label.)
- Almost none of the brands was free of bacteria. And we found no significant difference in the average number of types of bacteria between conventional samples and those labeled “no antibiotics” or “organic.”
- More than half of the chicken breasts were tainted with fecal contaminants (enterococcus and E. coli), which can cause blood and urinary-tract infections, among other problems.
- Enterococcus was the most common bacterium we found, occurring in 79.8 percent of our samples. Next was E. coli, in 65.2 percent of them; campylobacter, 43 percent; klebsiella pneumoniae, 13.6 percent; salmonella, 10.8 percent, and staphylococcus aureus, 9.2 percent.
- About half of our samples (49.7 percent) tested positive for at least one multidrug-resistant bacterium, and 11.5 percent carried two or more types of multidrug-resistant bacteria.
- Of the 65.2 percent of samples testing positive for E. coli, 17.5 percent of the bugs were “ExPEC” bacteria, a nasty type of E. coli that’s more likely than other types to make you sick with a urinary-tract infection.
How safe is that chicken? Most tested broilers were contaminated
and even more here:A A Improper use of antibiotics kills thousands and harms millions every year, CDC says Simple steps in the doctor's office and the supermarket can help keep you safe