Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Meat on the Rise

Staff Writer
Yikes, maybe it's time to become vegetarians

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Well, this is just lovely: A new report from the Environmental Work Group sheds light on the scariness of antibiotic use in the meat market, finding that antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria (or, superbugs), are on the rise.

The data, collected over years and ending in 2011 by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, found that supermarket meat samples ended up having high amounts of superbug versions of salmonella and Campylobacter, The New York Times reports.

These bacteria cause 3.6 million cases of food poisoning a year, the study found. Even worse? Fifty-three percent of raw chicken samples contained superbug versions of E. coli, which can sometimes cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia.

Federal tests found that 9 percent of raw chicken samples and 10 percent of raw ground turkey samples contained superbug salmonella. Even scarier: general salmonella microbes were found in 74 percent of the chicken samples in 2011. Compare that number to 50 percent in 2002. We're definitely going to start overcooking our chicken now.

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