By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
In recent years there have been an alarming worldwide rise in the incidence of infections caused by a multiple drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria that produce extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs).
Now, researchers in the Netherlands have used molecular methods to examine the relation among ESBL-producing bacteria in retail chicken meat, in poultry isolates from a prevalence survey, and in human patients.
The new findings suggest transmission of ESBL-producing E. coli from poultry to humans through the food chain. The extremely high prevalence of ESBL-producing bacteria in retail chicken meat is alarming and is probably not restricted just to the Netherlands.
So what is ESBL? It stands for Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase. These are enzymes that are created by some types of bacteria and make the bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
They were first discovered in the 1980s and were mainly found in the Klebsiella bacteria in the intensive care units of hospitals. Few people were affected at that time but as time advances, these mutated bacteria are becoming a major concern.
Why have antibiotics been used in chicken for the past 50 years?
– To treat disease
– To prevent diseases they might get
– To increase the chicken’s growth rate
So how can you ensure that the food you feed to yourself and your family is pure and healthy? Apart from growing your own food, your best option is to find a local farmer who uses non toxic farming methods. If you live in an urban area, look for a food source who accesses healthy, locally grown foods. Remember, “Natural” is best and organic superior.
- For whole chickens, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, but not near bone or fat, should register 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit before removing from the oven.
- For stuffed whole chicken, insert the thermometer into the center of the body cavity. When the stuffing registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken should be done. (Note: Chicken should only be stuffed just before roasting. Never stuff a chicken ahead of time.)
- For roasted whole chicken breasts, the meat thermometer should register 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To test bone-in chicken pieces, insert a fork in the chicken. It should go in with ease and the juices should run clear. However, the meat and juices nearest the bones might still be a little pink even though the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
- Boneless chicken pieces are done when the centers are no longer pink; you can determine this by simply cutting into the chicken with a knife.