Half Of Supermarket Meat Contains Drug-Resistant Bacteria

MeatWebMD‘s Brenda Goodman reports on this shocking new study:

There’s a new reason to be careful when handling raw meat at mealtimes.

Researchers testing raw turkey, pork, beef, and chicken purchased at grocery stores in five different cities across the U.S. say that roughly one in four of those samples tested positive for a multidrug antibiotic-resistant “superbug” bacterium.

“The findings were pretty shocking,” says study researcher Lance B. Price, PhD, director of the Center of Food Microbiology and Environmental Health at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff, Ariz. “We found that 47% of the samples were contaminated with Staph aureus, and more than half of those strains were multidrug resistant, or resistant to three or more antibiotics.”

The presence of drug-resistant staph bacteria, a category that includes methicillin-resistant Staphylococccus aureus (MRSA), in farm animals and food has been a closely watched problem in Europe, where it has been traced to outbreaks of human disease.

But less has been known about its prevalence in the U.S. food supply…

[continues at WebMD]

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  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    That title may be the greatest fear-mongering statement ever.

    It also sorta implies that we are drug-resistant-bacteria-resisting-humans.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    That title may be the greatest fear-mongering statement ever.

    It also sorta implies that we are drug-resistant-bacteria-resisting-humans.

    • br0wnb3rry

      don’t forget they can’t even add. since when does roughly one in four equal half? :D

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        actually its just reading you have to actually read. one in four have drug-resistant bugs because they found about 47% having bugs, and about half of those (47% /2 = 23.5%) were drug resistant…. i think thats close enough to 1 in 4.

        Touch up on your reading before you comment on people’s math.

        Edit: okay I should practice what i preach. :-P the original article didn’t make any mistake, but the Disinfo title is wrong.

        • http://disinfo.com/ Majestic

          Depends on how you read the report. See similar titles from:

          The New York Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/nearly_half_study_suggests_meat_q8zGMf5DW83MxBaOai6M7K

          LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-meat-contamination-20110416,0,261049.story

          But I take your point – it’s ambiguous to the point of being misleading.

          • Andrew

            It depends on whether you read the report correctly or not and do the math. Both papers got their headlines wrong, and hopefully they’ll print corrections, but the articles get it right.

            The Post: “Researchers found nearly half of the meat and poultry samples, 47 percent, were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria, 52 percent, were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics.”

            The Times: “Nearly half of the samples — 47% — contained strains of Staphylococcus aureus, the type of bacteria that most commonly causes staph infections. Of those bacteria, 52% were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

            52% of 47% is 24.44%, or about one in four. So while a 47% contain staph, 24.44% contain drug-resistant staph. It’s actually pretty unambiguous.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Some people only read titles. I think i demand a new rule: Scientifically trained reporters should be the only ones allowed to report on scientific studies. There are so many possible biases and manipulations in the scientific realm, that you have to know what you’re looking for.

            On the same note, anyone that reports on war and political issues should probably be someone knowledged in history.

            I’m sure there are other examples… i just want smarter reporters I guess (one can dream right?)

  • br0wnb3rry

    don’t forget they can’t even add. since when does roughly one in four equal half? :D

  • http://profiles.google.com/jassmith988 Jas smith

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it.

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  • http://blizzmasterpilch.blogspot.com/ Blizzmaster Pilch

    Since when could statisticians ever do math?

  • http://blizzmasterpilch.blogspot.com/ Blizzmaster Pilch

    Since when could statisticians ever do math?

    • Andrew

      It’s not the statisticians.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    actually its just reading you have to actually read. one in four have drug-resistant bugs because they found about 47% having bugs, and about half of those (47% /2 = 23.5%) were drug resistant…. i think thats close enough to 1 in 4.

    Touch up on your reading before you comment on people’s math.

  • Andrew

    It’s not the statisticians.

  • http://disinfo.com Majestic

    Depends on how you read the report. See similar titles from:

    The New York Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/nearly_half_study_suggests_meat_q8zGMf5DW83MxBaOai6M7K

    LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-meat-contamination-20110416,0,261049.story

    But I take your point – it’s ambiguous to the point of being misleading.

  • Andrew

    It depends on whether you read the report correctly or not and do the math. Both papers got their headlines wrong, and hopefully they’ll print corrections, but the articles get it right.

    The Post: “Researchers found nearly half of the meat and poultry samples, 47 percent, were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria, 52 percent, were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics.”

    The Times: “Nearly half of the samples — 47% — contained strains of Staphylococcus aureus, the type of bacteria that most commonly causes staph infections. Of those bacteria, 52% were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

    52% of 47% is 24.44%, or about one in four. So while a 47% contain staph, 24.44% contain drug-resistant staph. It’s actually pretty unambiguous.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Some people only read titles. I think i demand a new rule: Scientifically trained reporters should be the only ones allowed to report on scientific studies. There are so many possible biases and manipulations in the scientific realm, that you have to know what you’re looking for.

    On the same note, anyone that reports on war and political issues should probably be someone knowledged in history.

    I’m sure there are other examples… i just want smarter reporters I guess (one can dream right?)

  • Robobagons

    I think the only time you might want to worry is if you eat your food raw….That’s why we cook shit right, to Kill bacteria! This SUPER BUG couldn’t possibly be resistant against fire…Next story, move on with life. There are much worse things going on in the world than this…

  • Robobagons

    I think the only time you might want to worry is if you eat your food raw….That’s why we cook shit right, to Kill bacteria! This SUPER BUG couldn’t possibly be resistant against fire…Next story, move on with life. There are much worse things going on in the world than this…

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