As the popularity of farmers markets in the United States rises, so does the concern regarding the safety of raw poultry products sold at these markets.  Whole chicken from farmers’ markets and supermarkets in Pennsylvania were evaluated for the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. and demonstrated that 28 percent and 90 percent of chicken from farmers’ markets; 20 percent and 28 percent of conventionally processed organic chicken; and 8.0 percent and 52 percent of non-organic chicken, tested positively for Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp, respectively.

These numbers show the risks associated with USDA’s inspection exemption on poultry vendors, according to the study’s authors.  Education and food-safety training for vendors would help decrease the amount of bacteria in the raw chicken caucuses.  “It is hopeful that data from this study will provoke more research on this issue and gain the interest of local and state regulatory officials responsible for food safety,” the researchers concluded.

The article from the Journal of Food Safety is available here.