BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Consumer Reports finds that up to 97 percent of chicken we eat is contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Kai Jackson has more on the risks detailed in this study.

The report is an effort to keep the public safe, but it’s scaring some in the process.

A sobering report on a staple in the American diet is shaking up shoppers. Consumer Reports says a study finds 97 percent of chicken breasts possibly have harmful bacteria.

“It will heighten my awareness. It will do that. And if I see anything abnormal on the chicken before I cook it, I’ll definitely discard of it,” said Imani Rashaad, shopper.

According to the study, researchers went to 26 states and bought 316 raw chicken breasts.

Apparently most of those breasts, or 97 percent, had one of six harmful bacteria.

Consumer Reports expert Urvashi Rangan spoke with CBS News on Thursday morning.

“Even more concerning, about half of those were resistant to three or more antibiotic classes, making them multiple drug resistant,” Rangan said.

Consumers tell WJZ they believe one way to protect themselves from tainted food is to follow safe cooking guidelines and be choosey about where they shop.

“What I try to do is choose where I shop. That’s the most secure way of covering all the bases,” said Antti Eklund, shopper.

A registered dietician tells WJZ the proper handling of raw chicken is equally important.

“Always make sure that you are safe. No cross contamination. That’s the biggest thing. Washing your hands, making sure the juices don’t flow over to something else,” said Asa House, registered dietician.

Consumer Reports also recommends that shoppers use a meat thermometer and cook chicken to 165 degrees internally.

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