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article imageWould you like your pork chop with a side of MRSA?

By Tucker Cummings     Feb 1, 2012 in Health
You might think that paying premium prices for organic meat means you're getting the best quality money can buy. But there may be a downside to buying antibiotic- and pesticide-free meats: deadly bacteria.
According to a new report from Wired, both conventionally-raised pork and pork products labeled “raised without antibiotics” have an equal chance of being contaminated with MRSA, a bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics.
MRSA kills 18,000 people each year in the US, with the majority of cases caused by exposure to the bacteria in hospitals. Healthcare officials and agricultural researchers are now growing concerned that the use of antibiotics in the meat industry may be accelerating the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.
According to the Wired article, previous studies had shown that antibiotic-free pork had been found to have no MRSA, leading scientists to wonder if the pork was exposed to bacteria during the butchering or wrapping process. "Transmission of resistant bugs might occur between antibiotic-using and antibiotic-free operations, especially if they’re near each other, or it could come from farm workers themselves. Another possibility is that contamination occurs at processing plants," the article theorized.
This news comes hot on the heels of a study from the University of Edinburgh that posits one way so-called "Superbugs" may develop resistance to antibiotics. If this research continues and scientists can find a way to prevent bacteria from developing a drug resistance, perhaps we won't have to worry about MRSA tainting our meat supply anymore.
More about Meat, Food poisoning, MRSA, Bacteria, Pork
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