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Bacteria in poultry meatFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project aims to discover which type of processed poultry meat possesses the largest amount of bacteria. This experiment will be conducted using meat from a fresh chicken, irradiated chicken and frozen chicken


The irradiated chicken possesses the least amount of bacteria.

Scientific Terms

Bacteria, pathogens, food-borne diseases, irradiation, gamma rays


Bacteria in meat

Although most bacteria are harmless to humans, some of them are diseases=causing. Pathogens are bacteria that can cause illnesses. Food-borne illnesses occur when pathogens enter our food. Bacteria can be found in any kind of food but they  have a tendency to flourish in of protein rich foods like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.. The food that we purchase is usually already contaminated by bacteria, but this problem is easily solved by properly cooking our food.

Irradiation is another method of removing bacteria from our food, especially from meat products. This is done by bombarding the meat with either an electron beam or by gamma ray radiation. Irradiated food is thought to be safe to eat but there might be some changes in its taste, although many food activists disagree with this.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day for preparation, 5 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Access to laboratory equipment (eg. petri dishes)
Safety concerns:

Always follow laboratory safety guidelines and always practice sterile technique when handling microbes. Never have any food or drink at your workstation and always thoroughly wash your hands with disinfectant soap or alcohol before leaving your workstation. Always dispose of used material in a biohazard bag. If none are available, the bacteria should be destroyed with bleach before being disposed of.  Knives should be handled under adult supervision.