It’s a good time to give up meat

Tastes like Staph!

Johanna R. found an article on CNN.com very interesting; here’s her synopsis:

In a report for CNN Elisabeth Cohen reports that almost half of the meat and poultry sold at U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores contains a type of bacteria that is potentially harmful to humans, a new study estimates. This bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus which is the most common bacteria for human infections. The main problem is if someone touches it, which could lead to minor health problems like skin infections. Also life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, toxic shock syndrome (TSS), chest pain, bacteremia, and sepsis.

A recent study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute tested 136 packages of chicken, turkey, pork, and ground beef purchased at 26 grocery stores in five cities around the country, and found that 47 percent contained Staphylococcus aureus. Also they found out that half of the contaminated samples contained strains of the bacteria that were resistant to at least three antibiotics, such as penicillin and tetracycline. Some strains were resistant to a half dozen or more.

The reason for the contamination of staph is believed to be because of the handling the meat raw without using any gloves or washing their hands. So the prevention for this contamination is using gloves, washing hands, cleaning surfaces right after used, cooking meat at proper temperature, and also prevent cross contamination by cutting meat on a board and then doing your salad on the same board. This goes for all kind of bacteria contamination.

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About ycpmicro

My name is David Singleton, and I am an Associate Professor of Microbiology at York College of Pennsylvania. My main course is BIO230, a course taken by allied-health students at YCP. Views on this site are my own.

Posted on April 19, 2011, in Guest Post, Microbes in the News, Wash your hands! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This article is very intresting Johanna. After reading this article it deffenitaly concerns me. I mean this is from improper packaging techniques (which could easily be eliminated) done by the plants. Because staph auerus comes from the human skin and is halotolerent than the people at the plant had to have come in contact with the meat and the high resistance of staph allows it to grow on the meat at the store. In conclusion hopefully this finding will allow other plants to be more aware of their aseptic techniques (especially this plant) and help control the contamination.

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