Archive for Friday, October 20, 2017

Backyard chicken trend causes spike in infections, 1 fatal

In this Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, photo, Tanya Keith, of Des Moines, Iowa, and her daughter Iolana feed their chickens in the backyard of their home, in Des Moines. The trend of raising backyard chickens is causing a soaring number of illnesses from poultry-related diseases. For Keith, the nine hens and a rooster that she keeps behind her home provide fresh eggs and lessons for her three children about where food comes from. But even as her kids collect eggs and help keep the six nesting boxes tidy, she warns them not get too affectionate. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In this Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, photo, Tanya Keith, of Des Moines, Iowa, and her daughter Iolana feed their chickens in the backyard of their home, in Des Moines. The trend of raising backyard chickens is causing a soaring number of illnesses from poultry-related diseases. For Keith, the nine hens and a rooster that she keeps behind her home provide fresh eggs and lessons for her three children about where food comes from. But even as her kids collect eggs and help keep the six nesting boxes tidy, she warns them not get too affectionate. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

October 20, 2017

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— Luke Gabriele was a healthy 14-year-old football player in Pennsylvania when he began to feel soreness in his chest that grew increasingly painful. After his breathing became difficult, doctors detected a mass that appeared to be a tumor.

For a week, Dan and DeAnna Gabriele thought their son was dying until tests identified the cause: not cancer, but chickens — the ones he cared for at home. They had apparently infected him with salmonella that produced a severe abscess.

The popular trend of raising backyard chickens in U.S. cities and suburbs is bringing with it a soaring number of illnesses from poultry-related diseases, at least one of them fatal.

Since January, more than 1,100 people have contracted salmonella poisoning from chickens and ducks in 48 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Almost 250 were hospitalized and one person died. The toll was four times higher than in 2015.

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The CDC estimates that the actual number of cases from contact with chickens and ducks is likely much higher.

"For one salmonella case we know of in an outbreak, there are up to 30 others that we don't know about," CDC veterinarian Megin Nichols said.

A "large contributing factor" to the surge, Nichols said, comes from natural food fanciers who have taken up the backyard chicken hobby but don't understand the potential dangers. Some treat their birds like pets, kissing or snuggling them and letting them walk around the house.

Poultry can carry salmonella bacteria in their intestines that can be shed in their feces. The bacteria can attach to feathers and dust and brush off on shoes or clothing.

But illnesses can be prevented with proper handling. The CDC recommends that people raising chickens wash their hands thoroughly after handling the birds, eggs or nesting materials, and leave any shoes worn in a chicken coop outside.

Salmonella is much more common as a food-borne illness. More than 1 million people fall ill each year from salmonella contamination in food, resulting in more than 300 deaths, according to the CDC.

There are no firm figures on how many households in the U.S. have backyard chickens, but a Department of Agriculture report in 2013 found a growing number of residents in Denver, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City expressed interest in getting them. Coops are now seen in even the smallest yards and densest urban neighborhoods.

For Tanya Keith, the nine hens and a rooster that she keeps behind her home in Des Moines provide fresh eggs and lessons for her three children about where food comes from.

In this Sept. 26, 2017 photo, a rooster walks in the backyard of Tanya Keith's home in Des Moines. A rapid increase in the number of backyard chicken pens in cities and suburbs across the country has brought with it a record number of salmonella illnesses that have public health officials concerned. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says treating chickens like pets contributes to the problem. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

In this Sept. 26, 2017 photo, a rooster walks in the backyard of Tanya Keith's home in Des Moines. A rapid increase in the number of backyard chicken pens in cities and suburbs across the country has brought with it a record number of salmonella illnesses that have public health officials concerned. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says treating chickens like pets contributes to the problem. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

But even as her kids collect eggs and help keep the six nesting boxes tidy, she warns them not get too affectionate.

"We don't transfer chicken germs to our face," Keith tells them.

Stopping the germs at home is important because safeguards against salmonella are limited at the commercial sources that sell most of the birds.

A large share of baby chicks and ducks sold to consumers come from about 20 feed and farm supply retailers across the U.S. They get their chicks from a half dozen large hatcheries that supply tens of millions of baby chicks and ducklings each year.

While the Agriculture Department encourages hatcheries to be tested regularly for salmonella contamination, the program is voluntary. Unsanitary conditions or rodent infestations can help salmonella spread in hatcheries.

Dr. Stacene Maroushek, a pediatric infectious disease physician in Minneapolis, sees both sides of the popular trend. She manages her own flock of about 50 birds.

"I think it's really important to know where your food comes from, but I do think they need to be educated on how to do it safely," Maroushek said. "There are things growing up as a farm kid you know instinctively but city people don't know."

In her clinic, she's seen young children suffering from salmonella poisoning. The bacteria often cause flu-like symptoms, including diarrhea, and can produce more serious infections in children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

"It gets into their blood and it can get into organs," she said. "It can be much more significant in people with underlying health problems."

Even those who have had chickens for years can fall victim, as Luke Gabriele did in 2013 in his hometown of Felton in southeast Pennsylvania.

DeAnna Gabriele said her son was responsible for feeding and watering the chickens, but he didn't really like the birds and certainly didn't treat them as pets.

"They really never figured out specifically how Luke got the salmonella," she said. "They theorized that maybe he inhaled something because it can live in the environment and you can breathe it in in the dust."

He recovered after nine days in the hospital with the help of antibiotics.

She and her husband said that anyone buying chickens for the first time should try to find out whether the hatchery they came from tests for salmonella.

Nichols said the best way chicken raisers can protect themselves is to assume all birds carry salmonella and treat them carefully.

"We view this as a preventable public health problem and are really hoping we start to see some change," she said.

Comments

Ken Lassman 4 months ago

So now let me get this straight: there are over one million Salmonella infections a year, with 300 people dying from food-borne sources and they are focusing on a source that infects 1100 annually with one death? Not that this isn't an important health risk to address, since it is preventable, but I think it's important to put the problem in that larger context. Undercooked food is a WAY larger problem.

Also, it seems that the source of most infections seems to be from hatcheries that sell the young chicks and are not keeping rodent populations under enough control, resulting in salmonella contamination of young chicks. Perhaps better sanitation practices by hatcheries is the place to focus to reduce the source of the contamination, though there is also nothing wrong with reminding people that they need to wash their hands/arms after handling poultry. It just doesn't have to turn into a witch hunt that leads to making backyard poultry raising illegal any more than making restaurants illegal (the source of a much bigger number of salmonella cases).

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

Big industry is the source of illness regarding chickens, eggs and such. That has been determined.

Backyard farmers keep their areas much much cleaner and humane than Tyson's and others. Big industry crowds as many birds as possible in large hen houses with little breathing space much less any free range time.

Free range time is a central key to healthy chickens and eggs. Washing the eggs is a must.

Backyard farms is luxury living in the world of chickens .... lots of air to breathe and back yard free range time.

Brock Masters 4 months ago

How do you know how backyard farmers keep their areas? Any inspections you can cite or did you visit all of them?

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

I could ask you the same question in the form of how do you know I'm wrong?

We have chickens in our backyard and we know others. My wife helped with the ordinance. In fact she has bird knowledge from working in the bird department of the Tulsa Zoo.

Backyard farmers are allowed only so many depending on size of yard and coops.

In doing research many times it was noted that "disease" and such is associated with big industry because of their techniques such as over crowding which inhibits cleanliness. Standing in their own poop and such. Ventilation is stifled.

Standing in their own poop and urine and such can also be associated with feed lots.

Brock Masters 4 months ago

In another words you made a blanket statement with no,facts, just limited anecdotal evidence.

Bob Smith 4 months ago

".... Almost 250 were hospitalized and one person died. The toll was four times higher than in 2015..." One quarter of a person died in 2015?

Ken Lassman 4 months ago

So you don't think that's a problem? Tell that to the 3/4 of a person wandering around lost and confused.....nice one, Bob.

John Davies 4 months ago

This article doesn't mention histoplasmosis capsulatum which is a fungal pathogen carried by chickens and pigeons amongst other things. It can also be fatal and a friend of mine who has it and grew up raising chickens must get injections into his eyes for it. White lung from too many chicken feathers is also not a great thing to have and can be the cause of COPD; my great-uncle ran a hatchery and died of that!

Scott Burkhart 4 months ago

Hey, chickens don't kill people. People kill people.

Ken Lassman 4 months ago

And doesn't the second Amendment have a little-noticed clause that reads: "A well regulated back yard, being necessary to the security of a good breakfast, the right of the people to keep and bear chickens, shall not be infringed."

Oh, and people also kill chickens.

David Holroyd 4 months ago

But Richard, who at Planning and Development checks the chickens in your backyard? Are they registered? Do more than tthree unrelated live together?

Maybe it there should be a licensing fee for those who have chickens in their backyard. Surely Mr. Markus would go along with that..he likes money:) you wouldn't mind a licensing fee would you Richard...after all it's only pennies in the big scheme of things

And Dr McCullough in the Planning And Development Proctology Department wouldn't mind sending a mary or a sheila out to check on the status of the chickens and whether there is too much poop. After all that department is pretty good at poop,,,Anyone who has experience with the Department of Proctology knows that a lot of poop comes from it.

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

Owners do all of the work why would you suggest a new tax?

Bob Summers 4 months ago

Obviously, ostentatious report is the work of corporate big chicken .

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

Urban farms are quite small and there are a lot of owners "from the farm" it seems.

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

How to Keep Chickens in a City: 15 Steps (with Pictures ... www.wikihow.com/Keep-Chickens-in-a-City Aug 05, 2016 · How to Keep Chickens in a City. Chickens are both fun and useful to keep. Your hens will provide eggs for you and raising chickens can be a fun hobby. To ...

How To Raise Chickens | BackYard Chickens www.backyardchickens.com › Articles › Learning Center

Raising Chickens in the City www.citygirlchickens.com City Girl Chickens is your guide to raising chickens in the city and other small spaces.

The City Chicken thecitychicken.com The City Chicken will help you get started keeping chickens in your backyard, even if you live in the city.

Raising Backyard Chickens - How to Raise Backyard Chickens in ... www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL6mEXCRJFc Feb 15, 2016 · Raising Backyard Chickens - Guide to Raising Backyard

Chickens in the City for Beginners http://www.backyardchickenzone.com/backyard-chickens-getting ...

Raising Chickens In The City - Raising Free Range Chickens www.raisingfreerangechickens.com/rais.... Raising Chickens In The City If you're interested in venturing on a small chicken farming home business, you can start by being a contract grower of

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Tyson Brand ... www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-01-...

Feb 23, 2014 · Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Tyson Brand Mechanically Separated Chicken at a Correctional Facility (Final Update) Tyson recalling chicken for possible salmonella - CBS News www.cbsnews.com/news/34000-pounds-of-...

Tyson Foods Inc. is recalling about 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products due to fears it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Tyson Mechanically Separated Chicken Salmonella Outbreak www.about-salmonella.com/salmonella_o...

Mechanically separated chicken made by Tyson was linked to a Salmonella outbreak in late 2013 and early 2014.

Tyson Recalls Mechanically Separated Chicken in Salmonella ... www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/01/tyson-...

Tyson Foods Chicken Recall Issued Over Salmonella Risk ... www.aboutlawsuits.com/tyson-chicken-r... An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in a Tennessee prison has resulted in the recall of about 34,000 pounds of mechanically separated Tyson chicken products.

Tyson recall 33k lbs of chicken over potential SALMONELLA ... www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538.... Industry giant Tyson Foods is recalling over 33,000 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with salmonella. 33,480 chicken ...

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

Although it is difficult to determine just how many people have made the switch to home-raised chickens, as of March 2010, more than 50,000 chicken owners were subscribing to the forum BackyardChickens.com.

“I think everybody should have chickens,” said Brad Henderson, a permaculture farmer in Bishop, CA., whose family has raised chickens since he was two years old. “They perform so many services and they don’t require much in return. Of any animal on the planet, you can’t do much better than chickens.”

Henderson said that not only do backyard chickens provide a nutrient-rich source of food, but they can also serve as low-maintenance composters, waste recyclers and weed eaters.

Amy Henderson, who has been raising backyard chickens with her husband for almost 13 years, said that backyard, free-range chicken eggs also taste noticeably better than store-bought eggs. She said when chickens have the space to graze on grass and eat insects, the color of the yolk turns a bright orange, which is indicative of a healthy diet. Most store-bought eggs, she said, don’t come close to matching the color of healthy egg yolks.

“If we don’t have access to our own eggs, we don’t even bother to buy them,” she said.

A 2005 study conducted by Mother Earth News showed that, on average, true free-range eggs contain lower cholesterol, higher omega-3 fatty acids, and lower saturated fats than factory farm eggs.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/salmonella-risk-in-backyard-chicken-eggs/#.Wex-w0yZNok

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

Consumer Reports: Chicken With Salmonella ... - ABC News

Consumer Reports: Two Thirds of Chickens Carry Bacteria

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/consumer-reports-chicken-salmonella-campylobacter-bacteria/story?id=9210116

The bad news from a new study is that two thirds of store-bought chicken was found to be contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria. The good news is that, believe it or not, the numbers are better than two years ago, when eight out of 10 chickens were found to contain pathogens like salmonella and campylobacter.

The study, to be published in the upcoming issue of Consumer Reports, tested 382 broiler chickens bought from 100 stores around the country. Some brand-name chickens -- Tyson and Foster Farms -- fared poorly, with salmonella and campylobacter found in more than 80 percent of the samples.

=== According to the study, organic "air-chilled" broilers seemed to be a consumer's best bet because 60 percent of those chickens checked in bacteria-free. ===

(Estimates) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than a million people have salmonella poisoning every year from a variety of causes. About 25,000 people get so sick they seek treatment at a hospital and about 500 people die every year. Symptoms of an infection generally show up 5-7 days after contamination and can include diarrhea, stomach cramping and fever.

The news that everyday store-bought chickens can be contaminated with harmful bacteria drew a loud "ewww" from several moms shopping for chickens at a local supermarket in Ashland, Mass.

Linda Epstein said she was looking for a broiler chicken to feed her family of four because "it's easy to make and my fussy kids will actually eat chicken."

Epstein said she had "no idea" that campylobacter and salmonella could be present in such a high percentage of chickens. "It really kind of makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it," she said.

Richard Heckler 4 months ago

"Stopping the germs at home is important because safeguards against salmonella are limited at the commercial sources that sell most of the birds.

A large share of baby chicks and ducks sold to consumers come from about 20 feed and farm supply retailers across the U.S. They get their chicks from a half dozen large hatcheries that supply tens of millions of baby chicks and ducklings each year.

== While the Agriculture Department encourages hatcheries to be tested regularly for salmonella contamination, the program is voluntary. (How about deregulation isn't it wonderful) ==

Meanwhile ..... Salmonella Sources: Vehicles of Contamination http://www.salmonellalitigation.com/salmonella_vehicles

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