The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its study “Risky Meat: A Field Guide to Meat & Poultry Safety” in which it ranked the twelve categories of meat and poultry most likely to result in illness outbreaks and related hospitalizations.
Topping the list were chicken and ground beef while the bottom of the list included chicken nuggets, ham and sausage, not surprising considering that chicken nuggets are created from a slurry affectionately known as pink slime that arguably isn’t a chicken product at all, while ham and sausage are laced with chemical additives like nitrates and nitrites that may them inhospitable for bacterial growth (and prime candidates for carcinogens).
Not unexpectedly, the National Chicken Council was running around like a chicken with its head cut off decrying the report, even though recent studies have shown that a large percentage of dead chickens on market shelves contain traces of fecal contamination.
While it’s nice to have a Meat & Poultry Risk Pyramid as a guide, the fact remains that eating any meat comes with health risks. If you are going to eat meat, cook it thoroughly and stay away from processed meats. The days or rare and medium rare are over. But best yet, give up the flesh.