“Chicken bought at major supermarkets across Canada is frequently contaminated with superbugs — bacteria that many antibiotics cannot kill — an investigation by CBC TV’s Marketplace has found.
Marketplace researchers — along with their colleagues at Radio-Canada’s food show L’Epicerie — bought 100 samples of chicken from major grocery chains in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
The chicken included some of the most familiar label names in the poultry business.
The 100 samples were sent to a lab for analysis. Two-thirds of the chicken samples had bacteria. That in itself is not unusual — E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter are often present in raw chicken.
What was surprising was that all of the bacteria uncovered during the Marketplace sampling were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Some of the bacteria found were resistant to six, seven or even eight different types of antibiotics.
“This is the most worrisome study I’ve seen of its kind,” said Rick Smith, the head of Environmental Defence, a consumer advocacy group.