Bacteria Possibly Harmful in Half U.S. Meat

Researchers with Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona, have revealed they had discovered that nearly half the meat and poultry tested was contaminated with staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Researchers had tested 136 packages of chicken, turkey, ground beef and pork which had been purchased at 26 grocery stores within five cities around the U.S.. Fifty-two percent of the meat was resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline.

It remains unclear what threat if any these strains could impose on humans.

Dr. Lance Price, PhD., and senior author of this study had commented that nearly half of our food supply of meat and poultry are contaminated with s. aureus and more than half of those are multi-drug resistant.

In a statement released by the researchers concerning their study was that DNA testing had suggested that the animals themselves was the major source of the contamination.

S. Aureus and drug resistance strains especially can cause serious infections and even death in humans. Simple precautions such as cooking meat thoroughly, hand washing after meat handling and keeping raw meat away from other foods in order to halt a cross-contamination are believed to negate the risk of infections this is noted by experts and not the researchers themselves.

According to Dr. M. Gabriela Bowden, PhD, bacteria expert and assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Huston, Texas, states strains of multi-drug resistance bacteria is always a concern for humans. If hygiene rules are followed there should not be a problem.

Researchers also have stated the fact that a great number of animals are infected with the bacteria proposes that the animals are becoming immune to the regular amounts of antibiotics which they are fed before going to slaughter.

The meat in which was purchased for the study was sold under 80 different brands was purchased in the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Flagstaff, Arizona and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

This study appears in its entirety in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Many people are purchasing organic meat today. There are no synthetic growth hormones and drugs used on organic animals. Another reason is the feed mills do not have chemicals in them. The mills are inspected to make sure they are chemical free. The animals also are not fed any feed which has been genetically modified.

The animals raised organically are treated in humane ways and are not placed in over crowed quarters. Over crowded animals end up residing in their waste which is a serious health issue.


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