According to a nationwide study released by the Flagstaff, Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), meat and poultry from U.S.grocery stores have an unexpectedly high rate of dangerous disease-causing bacteria, including antibiotic resistant superbugs. In fact, almost half (47 percent) of all meat and poultry samples tests were contaminated with S. aureus.
What’s more, 52 percent of these contaminated meats contained superbugs, meaning the bacteria were resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics. That adds up to multi-antibiotic resistant Staph germs being present in about one out of every 4 samples of meat, chicken or turkey.
"For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial," Lance B. Price, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Director of TGen’s Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health, said in a statement to the media.
The research, published today in the journalClinical Infectious Diseases, is the first national investigation of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply.
The dirty truth many Americans — especially meat eaters — don’t want to face is that conditions on so-called industrial farms are not only often inhumane but downright sickening. Animals raised for slaughter are packed together densely and steadily fed low doses of antibiotics in their food. The new report concludes these industrial farms are the ideal breeding grounds fordrug-resistant bacteria that can move from animals to the human population.