Kosher is King: More Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Kosher Chicken, Study Finds


chickenAntibiotic-resistant E. coli were found in chickens from a range of production methods – with the highest numbers in kosher birds – in a study at Northern Arizona University and other institutes.

Consumers shopping for raw chicken that does not contain antibiotic-resistant E. coli are in for a difficult search, according to a research team from four separate institutions, including Northern Arizona University (NAU).

For reasons that could not be immediately explained, kosher chickens carried the greatest amount of antibiotic-resistant E. coli, while organic chicken showed antibiotic-resistant bacteria levels just as high as conventional chicken. Only chickens ‘raised without antibiotics’ (RWA) came in with reduced but still contaminated, levels of the E. coli ‘superbug’.

The study looked at the products of various poultry production methods – kosher, organic, RWA and conventional – but not at the details of the processing methods behind them. Researchers said more study is needed, especially on kosher.

The antibiotic resistance in chicken study was released on the same day the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta said drug-resistant superbugs are now an urgent public health danger in the United States.

The chicken researchers are from the Horace Mann Bronx Campus, Translational Genomics Research Institute of Flagstaff, NAU and George Washington University in Washington DC. Dr Bruce Hungate, director of the Ecosystem Science and Society Center, and NAU professor of biology, headed the team. The research was funded by the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research and the Ecosystem Science and Society Center, both at NAU.

“We examined the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli on raw chicken marketed as conventional, organic, kosher and RWA,” the study states. “From April to June 2012, we purchased 213 samples of raw chicken from 15 locations in the New York City metropolitan area.”

Read more at THE POULTRY SITE.

{ Newscenter}


  1. Kosher is King implies there is less of a heath risk. Since there is an INCREASE of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Kosher Chicken people need to be more cautious about how they prepare and cook it. Definitely more hand washing is necessary.

  2. CUTE. you guys all missed the pun and irony of the headline! It was intentional. Use your seichel to figure it out!

  3. there is something wrong with the gist of this article
    i remember ~5 years ago

    in the past it has been proven that “KOSHER” chickens have LESS bacteria because they are soaked in salt….
    i even remember that the non-kosher chicken industry implemented a quick salt brine spray because it was proven that KOSHER chickens have LESS bacteria and it was attributed to the salting

  4. Before we all go off in a tizzy, it would be important to know whether these “kosher” chickens that they studied were of a reputable halachic level of kashrus. Or, were they simply brands marketed as kosher but that do not follow the halachic requirements of soaking/ salting, etc and that no serious halacha-observing Jew would buy?

  5. Doesn’t everyone here realize that there has been an increase of defamation of brit mila, kashrut and even organics? All the above are what is the purer form of life, in general. This is all part of the propaganda campaign worldwide to first, water down and slowly eradicate ‘Jewish’ laws, kashrut and even organics because ‘it is healthy’. Organics is the way the produce and all that is grown is done the way it was from the very beginning, without the pesticides, without GMO’s & conservation of the earth where the produce is grown. Many fall for any propaganda, but, as Jews, who must follow Torah, know,or should know better.