DailyDirt: How Clean Are Our Chickens?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

For years, there has been concern over using antibiotics in our food supply, feeding animals “sub-therapeutic” medicines that make them grow bigger. The chicken industry seems to be shifting slowly towards removing certain antibiotics from its farms, but are consumers really aware of what the progress is (and isn’t)?

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Comments on “DailyDirt: How Clean Are Our Chickens?”

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CK20XX (profile) says:

I recommend keeping a few chickens around your property if you are able to. They’re kinda like little feathery pigs; they eat all the food you don’t want and recycle it into eggs, and they’re even happy to eat snakes, spiders, mice, and other pests they can fit down their throats. The eggs they produce will often be healthier than any you can get in the store too; a bright orange yolk indicates a high nutrient content.

Don’t try keeping ducks though as they’re a bit harder to take care of. Ducks are like chickens without the survival instinct. Chickens are fully aware of how delicious they are and are always keeping an eye out for predators while ducks think they’re on vacation all the time. Trying to keep them out of danger can be like herding cats, plus there’s the different environment they need as water fowl, so if you attempt to keep some, be prepared to do a lot of work for the little idiots.

As for turkeys… they deserve to be shot and eaten. They always have it coming.

Anonymous Coward says:

Concerning the chlor chicken I have recently seen an interview of an ex inspector of the USDA in which was mentioned that the chemicals used in the process eat through concrete. I assume that they spray it on the chicken and the drops then eat through the concrete on the floor. Personally that kind of worries me and I really dont want to eat that stuff.

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Chlorinated chickens

The chlorination level is different, just like a chlorinated pool has much higher chlorine levels than tap water (when it’s treated by chlorine, there are other ways of killing off the microorganisms in it). At higher levels more can get left on the chicken itself, and chlorine is NOT a nice chemical to deal with. That’s what people are concerned about.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Chlorinated chickens

It does, yes, which is why you can also dechlorinate water by letting it sit out overnight.

I don’t have a problem with the use of chlorine when processing foods as such. But, like with the use of antibiotics, it can be used to cover up the effects of genuinely terrible food practices, so I take its use as a sign of poor quality.

Case says:

Chemophobia and useful idiots

The “chlorine chicken” story really is just a prime example of how irrational fears of the public can be utilized.

All available studies, including those done by the EU’s own Food Safety Authority, say that treating foodstuffs with chlorine dioxide if safe. And then there’s the fact that chlorine dioxide is already used in the EU for disinfecting produce, without killing anyone. What DID kill people were the “organic” farmers who refuse to use “chemistry”, with predictable results

So, why all the ruckus? Simple protectionism. By playing on the public’s fears of “CHEMISTRY!!!!” in food, Weisenhof and other big breeders have conveniently blocked any imported competition, and the green movement, who’d normally like nothing more than take those big industrial farmers down, have become their prime accomplices. And after a busy day of protesting the impending chemical armageddon, they munch a bowl of salad treated with the same stuff…

Tom Betz (profile) says:

The real problem with chlorinated chicken...

doing the chlorinating. Chickens end up retaining not-tasty waterwater from the baths, and the chlorine doesn’t kill all the salmonella, which means that previously uncontaminated chicken routinely becomes contaminated when it hits the water. That’s why I only buy air-chilled chicken. Not only does it taste better because it hasn’t been soaked in chlorinated water, studies of supermarket chicken have typically found zero salmonella on air-chilled chicken, while finding universal salmonella contamination to one degree or another on water-chilled chicken.

Case says:

Re: The real problem with chlorinated chicken...

Hate to break it to you, but the chickens don’t wear hazmat suits while being air-chilled. If one of the carcasses has salmonella, it will contaminate those hanging next to it, surfaces, gloves…

studies of supermarket chicken have typically found zero salmonella on air-chilled chicken,

I guess that’s why Europeans take the same precautions for storing and cooking chicken than people elsewhere. And get the same results when not following them.

John Fenderson (profile) says:


Actually, from a food safety and how healthy the food is, you should be avoiding chicken anyway, organic or not. Those really concerned about food safety, nutrition, and how well-treated the animals are should go with beef or pork.

The best way to do this with beef is to go in with a 3 or 4 friends and buy half a grass-fed cow directly from the rancher who raised it. You’ll be dealing with a real human being from a small operation, you’ll be able to actually go and see the cows and that they’re being treated decently. You’ll need a chest freezer or similar, but you’ll have enough meat for about a year (YMMV, but it’s a lot of meat).

When I’ve done this, the meat + the butchering cost brings the total price to about half what I’d pay for the best cuts retail, and the meat itself is far superior to anything else I’ve tasted. In fact, I’d never understood what my vegetarian friends were talking about when they said that they could “smell the death” on meat until the first time I went this route. The first time I opened a package of the good stuff, the thing that I noticed was the lack of a particular scent. I was never aware of it until its absence, but now I can smell it on most meat, and describing it as “death” is not too far off. Although, I call the smell “slaughterhouse”.

If you are buying beef or pork from the supermarket, buy the stuff that came from the smallest local farm you can. Go grass-fed for beef (it’s what they’re meant to eat, it makes them the healthiest, and it makes a big difference in the resulting taste). If you want to minimize e. choli risk then buy solid cuts, the bigger the better, and cut them down further yourself.

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