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Fresh chicken still high on shopping

by 5m Editor
11 July 2006, at 12:00am

NEW ZEALAND - As debate about the safety of fresh chicken heats up, shoppers say the argument will at least raise awareness of the dangers of raw chicken, and may cut food poisoning. A study from University of Otago School of Medicine and Health has revealed that New Zealand&#39;s campylobacter rates are the highest in the world. There were more than 15,550 reported cases of the illness in New Zealand in the year to May, with 871 resulting in hospitalisation. Including unreported cases, it is estimated that up to 100,000 people a year get sick from infection. But the Poultry Industry Association has rejected some of lead researcher Dr Michael Baker&#39;s findings, including his suggestion that up to 90 per cent of fresh, raw chicken was contaminated when sold to consumers. Association president Michael Brooks said based on its own studies and international surveys, contamination rates were more like 30 or 40 per cent. Yesterday the Herald spoke to shoppers outside a busy supermarket. They agreed that better awareness was needed about the pitfalls of mishandling or undercooking the meat. <i>Source: New Zealand Herald</i>

5m Editor