Infographic: Food safety is top concern for chicken consumers

A recent survey shows that among 1,013 American consumers of chicken, food safety is the top concern when thinking about purchases.

Other top priorities were animal disease, hormone and steroid use (which is not allowed in the U.S. poultry industry), and antibiotic use.

The survey was conducted by ORC International and WATT Global Media, on behalf of the National Chicken Council.

Under 50% of those polled noted that misleading packaging claims, how chickens are bred, chicken housing, how chickens are raised, and chicken cut portion sizes were “extremely” or “very” concerning. Only 26% said that the time it takes to raise a chicken mattered to them.

The survey also asked how well consumers felt they understood about the care of chickens. Only 13% reported themselves as “very knowledgeable,” while 47% said they were “somewhat knowledgeable,” and 40% admitted they were “not at all knowledgeable” about the care and keeping of chickens.

What are the biggest issues with chicken food safety?

Salmonella Enteritidis is one of the biggest issues when it comes to poultry and eggs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it found the bacteria on about a quarter of all cut-up chicken parts heading for supermarket shelves. Thus, making it a good reason to handle raw chicken carefully, wash hands afterward, and cook the meat well, the department states.

(Other experts suggest that some of this bacteria found in chicken parts contains some non-harmful strains of Salmonella. Read more about the issue in a past blog post.)

Other pathogens, such as Campylobacter, E. coli and Listeria can also be present in chicken.

If antibiotics are given to a chicken during its life to prevent disease, a withdrawal period needs to pass between administration of the drug and the bird’s slaughter so that no residue will exist in the meat. Antibiotics, when consumed by humans, can cause illness and also help bolster pathogen resistance to antibiotics.

USDA offers a list of food safety tips for consumers once they’ve purchased their chicken and brought it back to the kitchen.

Neogen offers rapid lateral flow and innovative molecular detection tests for Salmonella in food and environmental samples. For more information, click here.

Infographic courtesy wattagnet.com.

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