Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Antibiotic Resistance Is One Of The Greatest Threats To Public Health We Face Today"

Those are the words of Dr. Lance Price, lead researcher in a study that found 96% of the meats they tested (136 samples, 80 brands, 26 stores) that were infected with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (almost half were infected) had a strain resistant to at least one antibiotic; 52% had a strain resistant to 3 or more.

Nationwide Study Finds US Meat And Poultry Is Widely Contaminated: Multi-Drug-Resistant Staph Found In Nearly 1 In 4 Samples, Review Shows, Study (TGen) Press Release, April 15, 2011

Two bits stood out for me in this Reuters article:
Some Bacteria In Grocery Meat Resistant To Antibiotics: Study

1. These quotations from Price:
"When you bring in that raw product, you almost inevitably contaminate your kitchen with these bacteria."

"The bacteria is always going to be there, but the reason why they're resistant is directly related to antibiotic use in food animal production. ... To put it all on the consumer is really directing blame at the wrong end of the food chain."
So, he's saying that cross contamination will likely occur. And if a consumer develops an antibiotic resistant infection from that contamination, it isn't their fault? Strong words. Finally.

2. The photo Reuters used to accompany the story:

"Customers Shop For Meat At Wal-Mart In Rogers, Arkansas, June 4, 2009."
Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

What a story in a picture. This is such a vulnerable population.

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