Almost Half of U.S. Meat and Poultry Contaminated by Staph Bacteria

American supermarket meat case offers more than just a variety of protein-packed fare.
A new study has found that a lot of meat and poultry produced in the United States contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. In fact, the analysis revealed that 47 percent of meat samples containing drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as staph bacteria. The full report was recently published in an edition of 15 April medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

According to senior study author Lance B. Price Tgen's heads the Center for Food and Environmental Microbiology, staph "For the first time, we know how much meat and poultry contaminated with antibiotic-resistant staph, and it is great." has been associated with a wide variety of medical conditions ranging from rashes to respiratory ailents, to potentially fatal diseases such as sepsis, endocarditis and pneumonia. Multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is now running rampant in U.S. hospitals, because the bacteria have become resistant to an increasing number of antibiotic drugs used to treat those infected by them.

For their study, the researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples from 80 brands of beef, pork and turkey from a total of 26 supermarkets in between locations in Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and, Flagstaff, Arizona. Their findings not only indicate that the drug-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is contained in 47 percent of the sample, but also that 52 percent of the contaminated samples were resistant to at least three types of antibiotics.

The report shows that in the U.S. meat industry, large commercial farming operations in Advance of animals treated with various antibiotics, provides for the results of the analysis "ideal breeding ground for bacteria resistant to drugs that move from animals to humans." only serves to confirm the dangers of population growth for America. Although the federal government regularly check meat and poultry to contamination by four strains of drug-resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus is not one of them.

Price admits, "Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat staph infections;. But when staph resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotic-as we see in this study-which left the doctor a few options"

Although the experts note that staph bacteria can be killed by cooking meat thoroughly, concerns remain about the improper handling during preparation. Cross-contamination can easily occur with practices such as re-use cutting boards or knives that have come in contact with raw meat and this can cause infection. Consumers should wash counters, sinks, equipment and hands thoroughly after handling any raw meat and poultry.

While the occurrence of staph infections among Americans remains an important public health problem and needs to continue to find ways to further reduce the risk for infection, study 2010 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging. The findings showed that invasive MRSA infections developed in hospitals decreased 28 percent from 2005 to 2008. In addition, this study showed a decrease of 17 percent of invasive MRSA infection was diagnosed before hospital admission among persons with recent exposure to healthcare settings.