Doctor's Note

I originally explored this topic in Chicken Out of UTIs. But, I decided I needed to take a much deeper dive, especially in light of the cross-contamination issue, which I also previously touched on in Food-Poisoning Bacteria Cross-Contamination, and Fecal Contamination of Sushi.

More on the insanity of feeding antibiotics to farm animals by the ton in:

Other videos about diseases that one might not typically associate with food include:

More on urinary tract health in:

What if you already have a urinary tract infection? Can Cranberry Juice Treat Bladder Infections? That’s my next video!

For more context, check out my associated blog post: Does Cranberry Juice Work Against Bladder Infections?

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  • b00mer

    I’m usually the [vegan] cook in our house most days, but once in a while my significant other decides to prepare some dead animal. He always acts like I’m overreacting about being grossed out and getting out the clorox cleanup when he’s done. I’m showing him this video when we get home tonight!

    • Toxins

      Haha, you’ll have to let us know how that goes!

  • Plantstrongdoc

    Chicken from the store contains shit (oh – sorry, fecal residues), it can leave you paralysed (Guillain-Barre), it can kill you slowly (cancer, cardiovascular disease) or rapidly (shitting yourself to death in the bathroom), workers in poultry slaughtering and processing plants have increased risk of dying from certain cancers, you get bladder infections, you get antibiotic-resistant bacteria (that can`t be nuked) – is it legal to sell this stuff !?

  • Mark

    Also, besides cranberry, try a potent course of multi-strain probiotics for several days instead of antibiotics. Antibiotics may kill what’s ailing you, but they will also kill all your good bacteria (microflora) and you’ll be more susceptible to infections afterwards.


  • Thea

    This is so, so fascinating. Awesome video. Thanks!

  • Veganrunner

    Oh goodness. That is crazy!

  • Dave

    So, if the bacteria is everywhere in the flesh-eater’s kitchen, don’t they spread it throughout the world (e.g., equipment at the gym, door knobs, telephones, grocery carts, etc.)?

    In other words, how can I, as a vegan, avoid these bacteria when most of the rest of the world appears to be swimming in it?

    • Southbaysteve

      Hi Dave,
      The 2 things that you have to your advantage are that you are not physically engaging (intimately) with the non-vegans and that your have some filters between you and this bacteria. (This may seem obvious, but I had to say it). The filters of your epidermis and your body’s natural resistance to foreign matter will overwhelm the vast majority of the remainder. Our resistance to disease is like a muscle when it’s exercised properly (not over- or under-worked). It will get stronger and stay in shape for the next time it needs to perform. If you’re are concerned about specific strains of bacteria, I wholly recommend some in depth research. I’d be out of my depth to recommend a treatment plan. Personally, I take NAC and a few other supplements to keep my resistance up when I feel a little less than 100%.

      Unless you’re living in a bubble, you have to get dirty and trust that your God-given ability to resist disease is sufficient to resist and manage most forms of bacterial exposure to maintain your health.

      Wishing you well.

  • Southbaysteve

    Hi Dr. G. As always, I would have never found this information without your level of insight. Your videos are SO relevant and salient. There is no safe way to handle an infected dead chicken…proof positive. I wish I had been better informed about this when I was younger. This makes me sad that I used to think that I was doing so well as a father of 2 daughters. I am sad that they (and me) would be sick too often (me more than them), so I can attribute this to our heavy meat diet. Things have changed. I hope that they will change their diets as well.

    I am now a strict vegan after a health scare and at the moment on a 60 day juice fast…We are on day 38. We (wife and I) are going to be raw-vegan after this (80-90%).

    I am saddened and frustrated with the state of our food industry. I have such a love for our country however we’ve become a ruthless commercially driven enterprise more than a society of opportunists with integrity. There are so many countries that won’t even accept an import of our animal products for this very reason…because the product is unsafe for their populations. So why would we allow OUR populations to endure this experimentation without regard for the natural consequences? It is unconscionable to except such poor judgement and justification from governmental officials, drowning in and tainted by the imbalanced self-regulated “research” documents that are representing the “safety” of the meat and dairy industry’s products. (and don’t get me started on big pharma and their “research” and FDA approval process impact).

    The farm, ranching, grocery and pharma lobbies need to be barred from access to (state and federal) congressional representatives. The respective governments need to be far more objective in their analysis and diagnosis of recommendations on the viability of these population affecting products from the perspective of national security and critical infrastructure and much less so on the perspective of economic gain.

    • Kate Walsh

      Hi having read this im guessing you live in USA ? I live in the UK. Have you heard anything about TTIP ? Im guessing but you probably haventnt as its yet another secret discussion about TRADE between USA and EUROPE. If this goes ahead it will be detrimental to ALL of us for lots of reasons, but one of which is the relaxing of our very strict laws on food regulation !! If the corporates get their way in USA we’ll ALL end up eating chemically infected meats !!! Please read about TTIP its imperative that we all STOP this being passed !!!

  • Jane Guyette

    Do any of the meat studies differentiate between organic and conventional? I am wondering if organic meats have less health risks.

  • Dida

    Dear doctor Greger, i just read your article on chicken and bladder infection, and i understood that only after one hour boiling the chicken is e-coli free. Is that correct? Thanks in advance

  • Linsuben

    Now I know why I suddenly had regular bladder infections from the age of 18. It is when I left home and started doing my own cooking. (At the time the doctor and my Mum blamed sex with my boyfriend). 20 or so years later i stopped getting bladder infections; about the same time that I became too lazy too cook, so called, “proper” meals any more.

    I had campylobacta twice as well, as least doctors knew that was from chicken.

  • peter gerry

    This really begs the question…. what about supermarket belts and counters. Think about a trip to the store… A few people before you buy chicken… some juice leaks out on the belt, and you put your fresh veggies on the belt. Seems like it MUST be contaminating us too.

  • joy Markman

    Hi Dr. Greger, I looked at your pink juice, & would like to know what is erythritol & where can you find it?
    Thanks Joy

  • philip litrel

    Thank you Dr. Greger for all you do. Now I would like to know to what extent eggs present the same problems?

  • dennis

    what about buying cooked chicken from the butcher or other store? (It isn’t clear to me if you get this bacteria just from eating chicken, if you didn’t cook it yourself, therefore didn’t handle it.)

  • Maria

    Dear Dr. Greger,

    I just got through watching your videos on UTIs and was wondering if switching to turkey would make a difference in the E-coli infestation
    brought on by consuming chicken. Also, would an organic variety of fowl make a difference? I realize this must sound like a ridiculous question, seeing these two meats are from the same type of animal, but we are transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle and aren’t quite there yet. We still need to have some protein in our diets. We don’t eat that much meat, merely a few ounces per day, but it’s still a requirement in our lives, unfortunately. I thank you in advance for your time, Thank you for all that you do. I am grateful for all the info you send out in your emails. I make sure to pass them on to everyone I know. All my friends think you ROCK!

    Sincerely Yours,

    Submitted from:

    • Thea

      Maria: Congratulations on working to make your and your family’s diet healthier.

      As I understand it, you are thinking that you might still want to eat some turkey just to make sure you get enough protein in your diet. That is an understandable concern given how the media portrays our protein needs. However, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to meet your protein needs from whole plant foods. One of the best tutorials I know of (and an easy read) is the following page. Just reading even the first part will start to give you enough confidence to wean yourself off of protein fears:

      Also, Dr. Greger has some great videos on protein and the best sources to get them. If you haven’t seen the following series yet, click on the link below and then keep doing “next video” until you get through to the body building video.

      Once you get through that series, you might think twice about substituting turkey for chicken regardless of the e-coli question. Hope that helps.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Thanks for reposting, Maria. In addition to what Thea mentioned here is a video about Superbugs in Conventional vs. Organic Chicken. There still seems to be concerns with Turkey and salmonella. Here is a link to the many videos that discuss turkey. I hope these help! Good luck on your transition to a healthier lifestyle it sure sounds like you’re on the right track and going at a comfortable pace. I feel that is important for lasting changes. Let us know if you have further questions.

      Best wishes,