UTI’S In Your Chicken Dinner?
If you are a woman, you have probably suffered from a UTI at some point in your life. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Every year, 6–8 million cases of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) occur in the United States and 130–175 million cases occur globally.” Among those cases, “80% are associated with E. coli.”
Yes, E. Coli. The same bacteria that you try your best to kill when you cook various meat products.
Is it so surprising, thanks to a recent editorial in Vogue Magazine, it has been brought to light that the same E. coli that is hiding in your chicken dinner, is the same bacteria that could be causing your recurring UTI?
In addition to this shocking discovery, it has also been found that current farming standards, which allow for poultry and other animals to be pumped full of antibiotics before they are turned into your dinner, has allowed for the majority of chicken that is purchased in the U.S. to contain some form of bacteria that is antibiotic resistant. Researchers in a survey published by the New England Journal of Medicine, found 13 separate strains of salmonella in samples of chicken, beef, pork and turkey, taken from various supermarkets throughout the U.S. They also found that of those strains, 83 percent were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Although using antibiotics on poultry farms has led to lower prices for the consumer, it has also clearly led to the development of highly resistant bacteria.
According to the National Institute of Health, “Most urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and then the bladder.” Symptoms include:
Cloudy or bloody urine, which may have a foul or strong odor
Low fever in some people
Pain or burning with urination
Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen or back
Strong need to urinate often, even right after the bladder has been emptied
A report from the New York Times says “Most women who have had an uncomplicated UTI have occasional recurrences. About 25 – 50% of these women can expect another infection within a year of the previous one. Between 3 – 5% of women have ongoing, recurrent urinary tract infections, which follow the resolution of a previous treated or untreated episode.”
What steps can you take to ward off a recurring UTI?
The most important thing you can do to help prevent a UTI that has been caused by E.COLI in poultry, is to learn how to cook and store your poultry properly. Remember to keep your poultry and other meat products well sealed when placed into your cart at the store, as well as when you get it into your fridge at home. This will help to prevent cross contamination of any bacteria with the rest of the food you have purchased.
Before you even get home, one of the first things you can do is buy organic poultry, or better yet antibiotic-free poultry. To earn an organic label, antibiotics may not be used unless medically necessary. Unfortunately, that rule begins once the chick has hatched, and some companies have been known to inject into the egg before hatching. Antibiotic free poultry has never had any antibiotics injected into the egg or chicken. (1)
Once you have gotten your poultry home, make sure you keep your uncooked poultry cold, keep it in the fridge at less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit or in the freezer under 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, don’t forget to cook your poultry up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chicken coup, Jancee Dunn, Vogue, may 2014, p. 180