The meat industry likes to say that factory farms are modern, efficient and produce cheap food. But in reality, factory farms increase the risk of pathogens like E. coli and salmonella that cause food-borne illness in people.
You might be surprised to find out, in this quiz from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the high percentage of supermarket chicken that has E. coli.
The bacteria is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms and, when people eat food contaminated with E. coli, they can develop diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia and other illnesses.
You can guard against food-borne illnesses by making sure your food handling practices at home are effective. Here's a list from the U.S Food and Drug Administration of four steps to food safety in your kitchen:
1. Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops and food.