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Study Finds Widespread Bacterial Contamination Of Meat/Poultry Products

April 15, 2011: 08:01 AM EST
A study of 136 meat and poultry samples collected from 26 grocery stores in five U.S. cities has found widespread contamination by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. In addition, according to the researchers, 96 percent of the bacteria were resistant to at least one antimicrobial. The researchers looked at 80 brands of meat and poultry products and found that 77 percent of the turkey samples were tainted, 42 percent of pork samples, 41 percent of chicken samples and 37 percent of beef samples. Some of the meat and poultry samples were contaminated by multiple unique S. aureus strains. “Our findings indicate that multidrug-resistant S. aureus should be added to the list of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens that routinely contaminate our food supply,” the researchers concluded.
Andrew E. Waters, et al. , "Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in US Meat and Poultry", Clinical Infectious Diseases, April 15, 2011, © Infectious Diseases Society of America
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