The irony of finding bacteria on store-bought chicken

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I trust I'm not the only one seeing the irony of this.

I'm referring to the CBC revelation about the amount of bacteria found on raw chicken. Some of it is resistant to antibiotics, which is itself a problem, but it also shows that bacteria occurs on raw meat no matter where it is processed.

So, as a small-scale poultry producer growing chickens during the warm season on my pasture, I've been facing a struggle for over four years to get predictable processing. The issue is inspection, the antiseptic condition of the processing facilities, whether mobile or otherwise, and whether the water I use to wash dead chickens meets the Canada Drinking Water purity criteria. It used to. The difference is a raised criteria. My family still drinks it.

These are all costly, time-consuming expectations on the part of those who think they can see a bug-free piece of raw meat at the end of the processing chain, but who must now realize that they are dreaming. It can't happen. In fact, efforts at over-prevention is apparently bringing its own problems.

Those of us who have been raising chickens for some time and were using local, health-inspected facilities all know that what we were doing and the way we were doing it before the Meat Regulations were imposed was fine. In fact, maybe better than some. Most backyard producers I know use no medications on their birds. So, they are not contaminated, probably, with superbugs. All they are contaminated with is the same kind of bacteria that is present on all meat regardless of where it is processed and which is cooked away, as it should be, before eating.

Perhaps these revelations can be used as a cue for regulators to think again about its risk-base approach and let small producers and custom processors operate in a bit more cost-effective way.