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Study Finds Kosher Chicken Less Safe To Eat
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Despite widespread consumer perception that kosher food is healthier and cleaner, kosher chicken might be less safe to consume than conventional poultry, a new study found.

Researchers with Northern Arizona State University examined the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli on four types of raw chicken: conventional, organic, kosher and those raised without antibiotics, all purchased throughout the New York area from April 2012-June 2012.

The study found kosher chicken, regardless of brand, had the highest frequency of antibiotic-resistant E. coli, nearly twice the amount in conventional products. It also found no difference in levels of antibiotic resistance between strains found on organic and conventional chicken.

The study screened for all types of E. coli strains, most of which are not harmful to humans, according to Food Safety News.

The reasons for the greater levels in kosher poultry than non-kosher are not clear. The authors wrote that their research “suggests that use of antibiotics in the kosher production chain is common and that it may be more intensive than use of antibiotics among conventional, organic or RWA practices.”

The article suggested more studies are needed to test whether antibiotic resistance among kosher products is consistently higher than in other categories.

The study was published on the F1000 Research website, which calls itself the first “open science journal for life scientists.”

Last Update:

10/10/2013 - 15:17
E. Coli, kosher chicken, Northern Arizona State University
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Katharina Stärk approved this study with reservations on 09 September 2013Referee Report: 09 Sep 2013.

Katharina Stärk, position is Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK.

She was asked to review the study by the University. She did so, but with SERIOUS reservations as follows-
“I have read this submission. I believe that I have an appropriate level of expertise to confirm that it is of an acceptable scientific standard, however I have significant reservations, as outlined above.”
And these are her words explaining her reasons why she thinks the evidence in the study “will remain weak”- (see last sentence)
“ It has been demonstrated that the extent and type of antimicrobial usage is hugely variable between farms even within one production type (e.g. among conventional producers). It is therefore recommended to use data that allow for linking of resistance status in the product to the true exposure of the animal, i.e. to link retail back to pre-harvest. I know that this is difficult, but else evidence will remain weak.”

"The study screened for all types of E. coli strains, most of which are not harmful to humans, according to Food Safety News."

So kosher chicken is safe after all- WHY didn't they say this in the first place.

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