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Posted on October 8, 2008 at 6:49 AM

It seems as though almost weekly we have another food quality scare–and this time it comes from the friendliest of foods. The thing that everyone says, “Oh yeah, this tastes just like it…” You guessed it: it’s chicken.

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The Department of Agriculture reported this week that there have been 32 cases in 12 states of food-borne illness resulting from microwaving frozen chicken. These poor folks then came down with salmonella. Their crime? Using the microwave instead of the oven.

But these chicken kievs and cordon bleus are not unique among frozen poultry to have gone bad, says the NYT (the source of this story). Evidently, chicken pot pies and other chicken treats have caused illness in the last few years.

But seriously, the problem is not the preparation–it’s the poultry. These birds are raised in unsanitary conditions, slaughtered in less than ideal settings, and then are not properly handled from butcher to the dinning room table. Rather than blame it on the “microwave defense”, it’s time to reevaluate food safety in this country–and it sounds like we should start with the chicken.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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