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E Coli O157, Salmonella, and Camplyobacter

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

I often find folks who are struggling with digestion, have gut compromise, and or a history of gut infections or pathogens. Why would these folks consider eliminating raw produce, and take some precautions related to bringing uncooked poultry into their homes ?

Simply said, watch, this movie on Netflix, "Poisoned, the Dirty Truth About Your Food". The movie is heartbreaking as it covers deaths of children who were exposed as well as young folks who have permanent illness (e.g. kidney damage) or need organ transplants. I don't want to pretend that this documentary is un biased, but, based on the lab results i see in others (see below), this stuff is more prevalent than one might guess. I have had both salmonella and camplyobacter, both when i was eating lots of eggs and cooking my purchased raw chicken.

There are a few main drivers here ......

First, for raw produce, somewhere around 10-15% [1] is infested with parasites and or parasite eggs. Cooking kills the vast majority. In healthy people, stomach acid and bile can do the same. However, folks in the world of chronic illness, often have gut, bile, and stomach acid compromises.

Two, much of our raw produce is produced and then irrigated with water that is littered with pathogenic bacteria. Yes, its cheaper and more convenient to re use water this way, and inevitably, this is why many of our leafy greens become contaminated. Even worse, many of the areas where leafy greens are grown are near areas where cattle are raised, and put into feed lots. The excrement of these cattle and run off from the feed lots, are sometimes contaminated......with E Coli O157. Romaine, melons, mixed pre washed salad kits are a few of the most cited as problematic in the movie.

O157 used to be ground beef issue - as hamburger often was the result of pieces of meet mixed together from dozens or hundreds of cows, and on top of it included the inside and outside of pieces of meet - resulting in significantly increased odds of exposure to O157. O157 risk with hamburger has largely been eliminated due to litigation and the following regulation changes around the famous and sad case of under cooked hamburger from Jack in The Box.

Three, between the FDA and USDA, the regulations around poultry are pretty slim. Of 150 samples of uncooked chicken in the movie noted above across 4 manufacturers, 17-29% of the poultry contained salmonella, depending on the manufacturer. Camplyobacter and Salmonella are the two most common pathogens in poultry. Also present on egg shells. The industry has deemed, its the consumers responsibility to cook the infected product so it is safe - but this does not address, how easy it is between the cutting, cooking, packaging for cross contamination can occur.

I would estimate between 30-40% of stool test results i have seen in others have E Coli O157, Camplyobacter, or Salmonella in their stool results above safe levels. All of these are nasty and can cause life threatening and long standing chronic health issues.

There are alternatives to bringing raw poultry into your home. Hint: beef, and cooked chicken.

Please be careful.

The above is not intended to be medical or healthcare advice. Always talk to your MD , Primary Health Care Provider, or Nurse Practitioner for health related questions, supplements, and dietary guidance.

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