Escherichia Coli bacteria in store bought chickens

A strain of Escherichia coli bacteria — that lurks in retail chicken and turkey products — can be passed on to people, causing urinary tract infections and other serious conditions, a study has found.

Many people think of urinary tract infections (UTIs) as a common and minor annoyance, but invasive UTIs that involve the kidneys or blood can be life-threatening. More than 80 per cent of UTIs are caused by E coli, but only a few strains are responsible for most of the serious infections. One type of E coli, called E coli ST131, is particularly adept at travelling from the bladder to the blood and kills thousands of people each year. It is unknown how most people pick up E coli ST131 infections. Previous studies suggested that retail meat was not a source, but new research suggests that these earlier studies may have been too narrowly focused.

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