www.huffingtonpost.com - April 18th, 2013
A new analysis of data collected by federal scientists suggests that a shockingly-high percentage of meat sold in U.S. supermarkets is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Based on findings from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, which were published in February but went largely overlooked, the Environmental Working Group found such bacteria in 81 percent of raw ground turkey, 69 percent of raw pork chops, 55 percent of raw ground beef and 39 percent of raw chicken parts purchased in stores in 2011.
These microbes are superbug versions of pathogens that, even in their milder forms, have devastating potential, including salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter jejuni. The EWG report also pointed to other studies that suggest there are concerning levels of pathogens such as Yersinia enterocolitica and Staphylococcus aureus in meat.
In an agency press release, EWG nutritionist and the report's lead researcher, Dawn Undurraga, issued a warning to the public:
“Consumers should be very concerned that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now common in the meat aisles of most American supermarkets ... These organisms can cause foodborne illnesses and other infections. Worse, they spread antibiotic-resistance, which threatens to bring on a post-antibiotic era where important medicines critical to treating people could become ineffective.”