Almost all chicken you purchase today contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could get you sick.  Half of all chicken you purchase contains superbugs that are resistant to three or more antibiotics.

Consumer Reports did an extensive series of tests on chicken breasts from 26 different states, looking for six types of bacteria – common things like e-coli and salmonella.  They found that 97% tested positive for at least one type of bacteria, and 49.7% carried bacteria that were resistant to three or more types of antibiotics.

Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., toxicologist and executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center tells KTRH News, “We took a look at the big four brands, we looked at a lot of minor brands, as well as store brands, organic brands and no-antibiotic brands.”

Consumer Reports is recommending laws be changed to certain types of antibiotics for use only in humans and sick animals.  Rangan says chickens are fed antibiotic-laced feed every day even when they are healthy, and suggests their recommendation would be more effective than a plan currently proposed by the FDA.

The most important thing for consumers to know, Rangan says, is the imperative to wash your hands after touching raw chicken.  The importance of cleaning cutting boards after they have been used for chicken, and the critical understanding that chicken must be cooked to at least 165 degrees.

“Everyone needs to have a meat thermometer,” Rangan says bluntly. It isn’t an option any more.

 Americans consume chicken more than any other meat.  Each of us is projected to eat 84 pounds of chicken in 2014.