Friday, April 15, 2011

News Briefs: Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Supermarkets

Emily Clark

A study published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases raises cause for some alarm about the state of food safety and agriculture in the US. 47% of the meat and poultry samples that researchers tested from supermarkets contained Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, and more than half of these were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotic. Staph bacteria can cause skin infections and food poisoning, and pose a danger if meat is not cooked properly or if there is cross-contamination in the kitchen. However the exact risk that this finding poses to consumers is not fully clear yet. These bacteria aren't one of the three drug-resistant organisms that the government looks for in retail supplies of meat, and so researchers suggest that it probably should be better tracked. The FDA is the branch of authority responsible for making sure that US consumers are safe from dangerous food products. Still another concern raised is that the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock ends up causing antibiotic resistance in humans, and there is evidence that the source of these bacteria were from the animals themselves. Therefore in the long run, this may be a question not just of food quality standards but also of agricultural practices more generally.

Reference: Barclay, Eliza. “1 in 4 Supermarket Meat Samples Tainted with Drug-Resistant Bacteria.” Shots: NPR’s Health Blog. Web. Apr 15 2011. 
blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP