Chicken That Sickens

"Frontline" takes a look at dangerous pathogens in America’s favorite meat.

About one in four pieces of raw chicken is contaminated with Salmonella. The stat is scary enough, but it’s made worse by the fact that more and more strains of the bacteria have become resistant to treatment with antibiotics. Against these so-called superbugs, once life-saving medicines have been rendered useless, thanks to their overuse in the medical and agricultural industries. But industrial farms and doctors offices aren’t the only places in need of reform. Last night’s episode of PBS's Frontline examines how the country’s food-safety systems—in the case of chicken, the U.S. Department of Agriculture—fail to protect consumers from dangerous outbreaks.

Administering human medicines to animals that aren’t even sick is downright dumb, but there have been a few nuggets of good news recently. Even so, if you don’t feel like chicken tonight after watching this—well, we don’t blame you. 


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