The most recent recall of romaine lettuce linked to an outbreak of dangerous E. coli O157:H7 drives home the reality of weak links in our food production chain. That includes numerous chicken slaughterhouses, the USDA reports. The agency found that a concerning number of poultry processors audited from October 29, 2017, to October 27, 2018, flunked the salmonella performance standard for handling chicken parts, such as breast meat.

Industrywide, over a quarter of the major poultry-producing operations, including some run by Purdue Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride, inadequately adhered to standards for keeping America’s favorite meat free of this potentially deadly pathogen, the USDA reports.

Don’t be chicken to eat chicken, though—just make sure it’s handled properly and cooked adequately, to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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