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Dangerous MRSA Contamination In Retail Pork Samples Much Higher Than Expected

January 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists who collected and analyzed 395 raw pork samples from 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota and New Jersey found that seven percent – 26 samples – carried methicillin-resistant Staphulococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. This level is much higher than previously thought. MRSA causes around 185,000 cases of food poisoning each year and can also cause serious, life-threatening infections of the bloodstream, skin, lungs and other organs. MRSA is resistant to a number of antibiotics. The researchers found no significant difference in MRSA contamination between conventional pork products and those raised without antibiotics or antibiotic growth promotants.
O'Brien A.M. et al., "MRSA in Conventional and Alternative Retail Pork Products", PLoS ONE, January 20, 2012, © O’Brien et al.
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