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Bug 'Found In Organic Chicken'

by 5m Editor
11 June 2007, at 11:14am

UK - A higher proportion of organic chickens sold by the "big four" supermarkets contain the most common food poisoning bug then factory farmed poultry, according to a television investigation.

When scientists tested 46 organic birds from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons they found 41 (89%) contained the bacteria campylobacter.

"There's a whole range of symptoms that can occur, it can be a mild illness with a small amount of diarrhoea, or very severe diarrhoea with someone going to the bathroom 10 or 20 times a day for a number of days."

Professor Martin Blaser, head of medicine at New York Medical school

This compares to the 70% of factory farmed chickens that Government tests have shown carry the bug, Tonight With Trevor McDonald said .

The programme also analysed the birds for the antibiotic-resistant "superbug" form of campylobacter and found 26% tested positive.

Professor Martin Blaser, head of medicine at New York Medical school and an expert on the bacteria, told the programme, which is being broadcast on Monday evening: "I think it's important to educate the public that organic chicken is not free of bacteria and it's not free of campylobacter and it has to be prepared in exactly the same safe ways that non organic chicken is."

He added: "There's a whole range of symptoms that can occur, it can be a mild illness with a small amount of diarrhoea, or very severe diarrhoea with someone going to the bathroom 10 or 20 times a day for a number of days.

"Occasionally people die from the dehydration."

The programme will also broadcast covert footage filmed by an animal welfare organisation at a farm that supplies organic chickens to Asda.

Source: TheGuardian

For more information on Campylobacter, click here.

5m Editor