High levels of drug-resistant bacteria have been found in meats within your local grocery stores, and this bacteria is resistant to at least three different antibiotics. A new study, released by Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI) released today, sampled meats from 26 different grocery stores in Washington D.C., Arizona, Illinois, Florida, and California.
According to MSNBC and lead researcher Dr. Lance Price, researchers found high levels of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in 47 percent of the beef, pork, chicken, and turkey that was sampled. Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, can cause a range of health problems from simple rashes and respiratory conditions, to fatal conditions such as sepsis. The most common staph bacteria is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and is known for numerous outbreaks in hospitals.
Over-exposure to antibiotics has created numerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the meat industry has had many people concerned with this issue for some time. By treating animals with a range of antibiotics in their diet, they have become a great contributor to this problem.
Bacteria are always found in meat, but the most disturbing findings of this study are the fact that it is a drug-resistant bacteria. The results found that in 96 percent of the meat positive for staph, the bacteria was resistant to at least one antibiotic, and 52 percent had a resistance to three or more.
The FDA is apparently aware of the study and is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agriculture Department to determine possible causes.
While researchers say that cooking the meat will kill the staph bacteria, they emphasize the importance of following precautions when handling raw meat. It is important to wash hands and keep raw meat away from other foods.
The study also showed that of all the meat types sampled, turkey was the one with the most drug-resistant bacteria, followed by pork, beef, and chicken. This doesnÂ’t bid well for turkey sales next thanksgiving and may find many more people looking at a more vegetarian diet. The idea of ordering a rare steak at your local restaurant may not be the best option anymore either.
Will this news make you look at your meat selection and cooking processes a little differently?
(Photo source: Wikipedia)