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Bacteria in poultry meatFeatured science projectScience project video

Conclusion

The hypothesis that irradiated chicken has the least amount of bacteria growing on it is proven to be true.
 

Also consider

The science fair project can be repeated by varying the types of food/ parts of the meat that are tested for bacteria. Perhaps you could experiment with different methods of thawing meat, or evaluate whether the type of packaging used for the meat affects the bacteria count.
 

References

The truth about irradiated meat - http://www.mindfully.org/Food/2003/Irradiated-Meat-TruthAug03.htm

Bacteria that cause food borne illness - http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762206.html

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost ($):
30
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.