Filed Under: Meat

Low-Voltage Salmonella Shocker

Scary headlines sell newspapers, but once in a while an article might actually provide some useful — and reassuring — information.

A recent Reuters wire story began: “Outbreaks of a potentially fatal form of salmonella linked to consumption of raw and undercooked eggs are on the rise in the U.S. Southeast.” But read further and you’ll learn that in the past seven years “the number of U.S. infections overall [from salmonella] has fallen by about 50 percent.”

If you should happen upon an article in January’s Consumer Reports magazine, warning of “Superbugs” that “could be in your chicken dinner,” read on. You’ll learn that the percent of chicken contaminated with salmonella enteriditis has fallen 25 percent since 1997. And campylobacter bacteria levels in chicken dropped by 33 percent in the same period.

How do the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention respond to all this reckless talk of outbreaks and “superbugs”? They say: cook your food.

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