A shocking news for meat lovers like me. A recent study has been reported to find a “superbug” bacterium that is resistant to antibiotic. The study was done by Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI). They examined 136 meat samples from 26 grocery stores. They tested turkey, pork, beef, and chicken purchased at grocery stores in five different cities across the U.S. – Chicago, Washington D.C., Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Los Angeles and Flagstaff (Arizona).
“The findings were pretty shocking,” says study researcher Lance B. Price, PhD, director of the Center of Food Microbiology and Environmental Health at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff, Ariz. “We found that 47% of the samples were contaminated with Staph aureus, and more than half of those strains were multidrug resistant, or resistant to three or more antibiotics.”
“We haven’t looked at this before in the United States,” says Price. “What we don’t know is whether people can pick it up through meat. This is the first time that we’ve even recognized that it’s there.”
“We don’t know where these are coming from, and it’s really something that we have to understand,” he says.
Staph Bacteria is Bad News
Staph bacteria is reported to cause hundreds of thousands of infections in the United States every year – from skin infections to pneumonia. Interestingly, Staph infection is reported to kill more people in US than HIV.
“Staphylococcus aureus is a very common bacteria found in the environment, and is one of the most common found on human hands. It rarely causes any health problems,” says Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, director of scientific and regulatory affairs for the National Turkey Federation in Washington, D.C., in a statement.
“Contamination by human hands is a likely source of contamination of the products in this study,” Thesmar says. “The most important message for consumers is to follow proper food safety methods, such as washing your hands and cooking meat and poultry thoroughly. Following good food safety practices will ensure that consumers continue to enjoy safe, high-quality, and nutritious turkey products.”
The study found that 96 percent of the meats with staph bacteria the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, and 52 percent were resistant to three or more types. Interestignly the bacteria is Turkey was most resistant to antibiotics.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reported to be working with the U.S. Agriculture Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the causes and effects.
“FDA has been monitoring the situation. The TGRI study points out that the public health relevance of the findings is unclear. FDA continues to work with CDC and USDA to better understand this issue,” the FDA spokeswoman said.Source: www.reuters.com
Hopefully FDA and USDA with come up with a better response soon. For now, I might just stick to more green salads.