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Organic raw poultry not necessarily safer

Organic raw poultry is not necessarily safer for consumption than conventionally raised poultry1, indicates a study from the University of Tennessee.

Investigators evaluated the microbiological quality of whole chicken and turkey carcasses purchased from three retail outlets. There were 50 carcasses from  organically raised chickens, 25 from organically raised turkeys and 25 from conventionally raised turkeys. They used an FDA protocol for rinsing the carcasses and enumerating aerobic bacteria, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus spp., and for qualitative analysis of Salmonella. The highest average counts of aerobic bacteria, Staphylococcus spp. and Campylobacter, were found in one brand of organic chickens, while another organic brand had the lowest average counts of four brands evaluated. Organic turkeys also had the highest average counts of these same bacteria compared to two brands of conventionally raised turkeys.

A 5% prevalence of Salmonella was isolated only from organic chickens and turkeys, report Bridgshe Hardy and colleagues in the August 2013 issue of the Journal of Food Science.

J Food Sci. 2013 aug;78(8):M1232-5. doi: 10.1111/1750- 3841.12212.


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