It’s a Crapshoot: Feces Taint 50 Percent of Buffalo Chicken
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From Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
December 2012

A new PCRM billboard and report warn residents of Buffalo, N.Y.—birthplace of Buffalo chicken wings—that at least half of the retail chicken products sold in Buffalo are contaminated with feces.

The billboard reads “It’s a Crapshoot: Feces Taints 50% of Buffalo Chicken” and shows a dismayed tailgater holding a piece of chicken.

PCRM crapshoot chicken fecal E. coli

PCRM purchased chicken products—wings, breasts, thighs, and legs—from 10 retail stores in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, and sent them to an independent analytical testing laboratory. The lab found 63 out of 100 packages of chicken tested positive for generic E. coli, evidence of fecal contamination. Even skinless chicken breasts, thought by some to be a more healthful choice, showed a high rate of contamination. The feces typically contaminate the birds in the slaughter process and are not removed prior to sale.

PCRM surveyed more than 300 Buffalo residents in August to determine if they were aware that feces could be found on chicken products. Sixty-two percent of Buffalo residents did not know that feces are commonly found in store-bought chicken products.

Brands tested include generic store brands, like Dash’s Market and Save-A-Lot, in addition to popular labels, such as Tyson and Perdue.

Fecal Contamination of Chicken Products in 10 Buffalo-Area, N.Y. Stores:

Dash’s Market

Hertel Avenue, Buffalo 70%
Colvin Boulevard, Tonawanda 50%


Walden Avenue, Cheektonaga 90%
Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo 70%


Broadway Street, Buffalo 60%
Genesee Street, Buffalo 40%


Delaware Avenue, Buffalo 80%
Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga 70%


Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo 70%
Seneca Street, Buffalo 30%

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