Less Salmonella in Organic and Free-Ranged Eggs
Good news organic consumers! Organic eggs are found to have lower Salmonella, a bacterium that causes food poisoning worldwide, compared to non-organic ones. Recent survey by the UK Soil Association as reported by Natural Choices showed that 23.4 % of farms with caged hens were positive for Salmonella compared to 4.4 % in organic birds and 6.5 % in free-range birds. The research also showed that the highest incidence of Salmonella occurred in the farms that grow 30,000 hens or more.
Non-organic chickens are normally housed in cramped ?battery cages? containing 4 to 5 hens. Organic chickens, on the other hand, are free-ranging and are allowed to go outdoors and express their natural behavior. Non-organic chickens are also cramped in windowless sheds of factory farms, thus, they are given lots of antibiotics to protect them from diseases but weaken their natural immune system. Their dependence on antibiotics may result in the development ?super bugs? that can be dangerous to humans. This research confirms the Soil Association?s view that intensive farming may have potential threat to human health.
There are now approximately 29 million egg-laying chickens in the UK and over 70% are kept in battery cages. Salmonella food poisoning can be avoided through proper cooking of eggs and meat. However, the incidence of this bug can be avoided by buying genuine free-range or organic eggs.
Natural choices.co.uk 1 February 2008