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Raw chicken dangers alarm regulators.

Washington, D.C.: Instead of instituting more rigid supervision of processing chickens for food, the Department of Agriculture is considering adding warnings to the product at the market level.

"Contaminated chicken contaminates everything it touches," said Carol Tucker Foreman, former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. "That means counters, sinks, cooking utensils, cutting boards, sponges, drawer pulls, and other foods eaten raw, like salads," she testified before a Senate subcommittee investigating the increase in food poisoning that is reaching epidemic proportions around the country.

"Instead of stamping chickens 'whole-some,' the Department of Agriculture should require processors to provide handling instructions," Foreman testified.

A bill that would require a study of sickness most commonly associated with poultry has been introduced by Howard M. Metzenbaum (D., Ohio).

At the hearing before the Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee, representatives from the Agriculture Department and officials from poultry processors said that consumer education was on the way but labels were not necessary.

Consumer advocates are urging that supervision be enforced in the handling of poultry on every level, including restaurants and processing factories. It means that counters be kept clean and that knives and other implements used in dissecting chickens not touch other foods without rigid cleaning procedures.
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Title Annotation:Department of Agriculture supports increased consumer education on handling of raw chicken
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jun 22, 1991
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