Staph seen in nearly half of U.S. meat
April 15th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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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.

Researchers 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 (S. aureus), a common cause of infection in people.

What's more, roughly 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.

Get the rest of the story at CNN Health and read more about tainted food and recalled products

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Filed under: Health News • Meat • Recalls • Tainted Food

soundoff (769 Responses)
  1. mystereo that's what makes meat so tasty. Nothing like a little staph in your diet.

    April 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  2. DrFood

    This isn't really recent news. This article is pure scaremongering. I don't care how resistant they are to antibiotics. This would all be oh-so-scary if we all decided to eat raw meat or meat that's been under heating lamps all day long. The fact is, cooking food adequately and handling it appropriately will kill staphylococci and prevent new cells from gaining a foothold on the food. Also, staph food poisoning is not really fatal to the general population (about 0.03% to the general public according to a 1984 paper by Holmberg and Blake)

    April 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Jerry Vinter

      You ignore the disease resistant bacteria this is producing.

      April 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  3. Jerry Vinter

    After I watched Food Inc., I went vegetarian.

    It boils down to this. In our intensive meat production industry, we feed grain to the livestock. Its something they are not evolved to metabolize. Further, due to the sheer number of animals, we let them stand in their own filth for months. That means they get infections.

    True to form, our medical profession, which is excellent at treating symptoms (as opposed to causes of diseases), feeds them tons of antibiotics. As the infections either die out or fester, evolution makes sure that the germs that survive are the tough ones. So, when we eat meat produced this way, we get hit with a double whammy:

    1. We consume leftover antibiotics in the animal tissue. Then we start get sensitized to those drugs (getting used to them). Which means that when we fall sick, most antibiotics either act weakly or not work at all. Which forces pharmaceutical industry to come up with stronger antibiotics, repeating the cycle.

    2. We get a dose of drug resistant bacteria that may survive cooking (sometimes).

    Our food production methods are dooming our very existence but our chase the dollar short sighted vision will not think outside of the narrow confines of a profit-loss statement.

    April 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • DrFood

      In the food science and safety field, we collectively groan and facepalm every time someone refers to "Food Inc."...

      April 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
      • Jerry Vinter

        Groan all you like. Eating improperly fed and diseased animals being kept alive on antibiotics with the infection rates shooting up ? No thanks. Take your propaganda for the food companies elsewhere.

        Its not as if the rest of us are safe either. All those extra antibiotics get into the ground water and raise the risk for everyone.

        April 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • What?

        Jerry, you don't even know enough to be dangerous. "Ignorance can be overcome with education, but there's no cure for stupid." Since you seem to be perfectly content with your 'education' from Food, Inc., then you fall fully into the category of stupid. Cattle have no problem eating or digesting grain. They can't live on 100% grain, but nobody – NOBODY – feeds them a 100% grain diet, regardless of what you believe or have been told. The animals are required to be off antibiotics for a prescribed period of time – depends on the antibiotic – before they can be slaughtered, so that there will be no 'residual' antibiotic in the meat. Why don't you try getting some information from a reliable source sometime?

        April 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  4. Andy

    Good thing i don't eat much meat.

    – A

    April 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Burbank

    That's no suprise at all considering Agribusiness meat is loaded with antibiotics because of the filthy conditions the cattle are kept in before they are slaughtered. It's bred super bugs. Root cause: Overpopulation. If we weren't overpopulated there would be no need for our food to be raised in these conditions. Time for everyone to get serious about family size, everyone is still having 4-5 kids each, that's unsustainable and one more explosive generation will kill this planet past the point of no return.

    April 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • JBJingles@Burbank

      Really? Where are you getting 4-5 kids each??

      April 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Eric

    Im calling BS, way to secretly influence by putting an image of "Organic" meat in the picture CNN. You are nothing but corporate schills to the big companies. Also, ORGANIC MEAT DOESNT EXIST. Organic is reserved for everything but meat. Way to drop the ball CNN.

    April 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  7. Rose

    The point is: It is not normal for that bacteria to be found in meat. Even though it may not cause sickness in everyone who ingests it, it is happening because of a poorly regulated industry. I wouldn't feed my dog hamburger bought from a grocery store and I am a meat eating human.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  8. Colby Bauer

    Watch "Food Inc." All your concerns will be answered. Being from food sales, and also living in Springdale, AR for 10 years, the documentary is very accurate. 100%? Maybe, maybe not, but still very accurate.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • What?

      And completely unbiased, with no 'agenda' by the producers, right? Can I interest you in some oceanfront property in Arizona?

      April 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  9. Arlon

    I was eating beef jerky while reading this lol

    April 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  10. DumbPhotograher

    Why is there a picture of a steak when the researchers only chicken, turkey, pork, and ground beef? A picture of Charlie Sheen would have been more appropriate.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  11. SM

    So, is this the first study ever done? Maybe those are actually normal levels.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  12. Kay

    PS- It doesn't matter if you only buy organic, or eat locally grown, or whatever. These bacteria are mostly everywhere, even on precious organic cows. Just so you know, it doesn't mean you are avoiding any bacteria whatsoever, it means you are (most likely) avoiding the hormones, steroids, and other things given or fed to the animal.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Mike

    A more complete article from the source of the research:

    Key points:

    Research was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, who seem to be fighting against the overuse of anitbiotics in farming. Seems reasonable to me. Spend a bit more money on organic food and you can help with this situation. Think of it as a donation to a cause, to help change things for the better.

    "...DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination."

    "...Staph should be killed with proper cooking, it may still pose a risk to consumers through improper food handling and cross-contamination in the kitchen. "

    April 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Kay

    OH MY GOD. S. aureus IS NOT ALWAYS A SOURCE OF INFECTION. It actually LIVES naturally in a small percentage of our population as a naturally occuring bacteria. I LOVE how articles everywhere distort these facts to scare people. There are strains of bacteria and some are harmful and some are not. S. aureus IS a potentially harmful bacteria to someone with a compromised immune system, and often is the source of a wound infection, but not always. There are MANY different kinds of bacteria that can and cannot harm us, all at once. S. aureus is usually the culprit causing strep throat in people, FYI. CNN, get your mother flipping facts straight and consult a microbiologist next time. Idiots.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Aaron

    The USDA and FDA are as on the ball as usual. Is there any point in any having a governmental department responsible for food safety? It appears to be a total waste of taxpayer money since they obviously don't do the job of keeping food safe anyway.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Don't trust the Meat Industry

    Many of you hit the nail on the head. It comes down to greed. Meat companies would rather grow their animals 4x faster than is natural. To do so, they feed them grains like corn mixtures and the rest of rendured cows. Cows aren't designed to eat either and get sick. To keep them alive long enough, we pump them full of steroids and antibiotics. You wonder why bacteria that we were able to kill 20 years ago are now so resistant? Well, up to 70% of all anti-biotics used are used on perfectly healthy cows so we can force them to consume corn, cow meat, and their own excriment. The meat industry harms the human body, it's inhumane towards animals, harms the envirnment, and is putting the quality of the entire human race in danger as every day there are more "super bugs" against which we have no antibiotics that would do any good. Thanks Meat Lobby!!

    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  17. Chris, CT

    So just because 47 packages contained it, half of all US meat has staph?....

    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  18. melanie mitzner

    Would you please explain why you have a photo of certified organic meat with this 'article'? Certified organic cannot antibiotics and I don't see any evidence that certified organic meat was tested in that study. Looks pretty suspicious, if you ask me.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  19. Trini

    So you think lady Gaga is freaking out about now? LOL

    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  20. Colby Bauer

    Two words: Niman Ranch. Their hogs, lambs, and cattle all live the Life of Riley right up to the moment of dispatch. Open fields, open grazing, no confinement, and no antibiotics or hormones. Well worth the extra money. BTW – the pork in your burrito at Chipotle? Niman. Their uncured applewood smoked bacon, in my opinion, even beats Neuske's (which is a confinement operation). That's right, BEATS Neuske's, which is widely considered the Holy Grail of bacon.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  21. Elizabeth

    We buy only grass fed organic free range beef and chicken from a fabulous farm in NH.
    We eat beef 4 times a week for dinner, chicken once, fish once and pasta once.
    I worry more about the fish than the beef and chicken...

    April 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  22. JJ

    You will -always- be able to find something in meat. That's been true since day one. That's why we COOK meat, dimwits.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  23. Dan, Tx

    The USDA inspects plants for safety, so we don't need to worry as long as the USDA inspection service is not cut during the budget battle.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • banana

      Unfortunately the USDA regulations have been hugely influenced by agribusiness lobbyists and it is often their interests that get attention, not the consumers and certainly not the animals. As long as they allow animals to be kept in filthy overcrowded conditions, fed unnatural diets, and slaughtered and processed by the truckload in unsafe slaughterhouses, these issues will continue to occur.

      April 16, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  24. Daryn

    My family only eats locally grown, naturally-raised/wild-raised (many people say grass-fed, but that is not really what they mean) meat these days. Same plan for our fruits and veggies, organic and locally-grown when possible. I think the concept of no antibiotics and no pesticides in/on our food is worth the slightly extra cost. As for the it-needs-to-be-sterile crowd, I have an immune system for a reason, so I respectfully disagree. I've been fortunate to have had the time to live wild myself, spending a few months each year living off the land. Few things taste as good as meat harvested just moments ago, right in the middle of the woods and cooked over an open fire (I can do raw, but it's not my favorite flavor or texture). Sanitary? Not by any means, but give me natural over processed any day.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  25. Richard

    So COOK the meat thoroughly, you whining sissies. How come years ago, before the paranoia and over-protective mothers carrying hand-sanitizers, you never saw the streets littered with bodies from these diseaeses? It's precisely why those anti-biotic resistant bacteria exist is because of overprotective, New Age parents who insist doctors give their kids anti-biotics at the slightest cold (which, btw, is not helped since colds and flus are caused by viruses). People, and especially children MUST be exposed to bacteria, it's what helps for a strong immune system so when they DO get hit by something really bad they are able to fight it.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  26. eye tooth for eye toothbrush

    Let the games begin for all global staff members whom distribut pestilence.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  27. Ellen DeGeneris

    I agree. Meat sucks.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • CJ

      Yeah. Ellen is not a fan of the tube-steak.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Fa Fa Floley

      Ellen prefers tuna.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  28. Cindy

    Simple solution, folks. Buy meat from small, local and/or organic farms, where they take good care of the animals and treat them humanely. Small family farms rarely have the problems with contamination that the huge factory farms have. You'll get much better quality food, and support your local economy. It's worth the extra dollars.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Fiona

      Most of those farms send their animals to the same slaughterhouses the non-organic, inhumanely raised (and transported, and handled) animals go to. It's at the plants and at the packaging facilities (your local grocery store or a huge commercial facility) that contamination happens. Some markets rewrap meat when it goes on "sale" because it's approaching its sell-by date. Some stores marinate older meat and sell it as ready to cook. I don't eat meat. When I did eat it, I bought it at an independent grocery store with a reliable butcher (union, well-trained butchers). My local organic stores sold me spoiled meat several times. Spoiled organic meat from humane farms is still unwholesome meat.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
      • banana

        That is true but often because the regulations make it very difficult to operate a small slaughterhouse. And who do you think has the power to influence the regulations? I have heard stories of ranchers who wanted to build a small slaughterhouse where they could process their own cows on their own land at a slower pace where they could be sure the animals were treated as humanely as possible and the meat was handled as safely as possible. They couldn't do it – even if they spent the money to build to code, the USDA wouldn't send out an inspector because they didn't have enough volume. We need more support for these types of places and for the meat they produce.

        April 16, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  29. Brian

    Some third world countries are rejecting our meat. Our inspection and regulation of meat is below third world standards. American meat is contaminated with sheet and Americans are so dumb the don't know they are eating sheet. Yes, cook your sheet before you eat it.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • @Brian

      Did you sheet your pants?

      April 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Ray

      Other countries have banned the import of American beef because of factory farming techniques these countries find unacceptable. The same thing is happening with GMO crops. It has nothing to do with inspections. It has to do with how we grow and raise our food.

      April 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  30. PuppyChoker

    Explains why I never have a Staph infection. I'm a meat inhaling sonofabitch and apparently have a resistance.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  31. Medical Student

    This just in – Staph and strep is found on most people's hands!

    In later news – magical technology called cooking – a possible cure to bacteria tainted meat!

    April 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • CJ

      Seriously. It is like this article is written for people who have a tendency to just throw raw meat on a plate and start chomping away.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  32. sbast18 here's the media, again, working people up over something that really isn't at all news. Take a second to recall that meat has fed the world for at least a couple of years... Butchering facilities and household environments 200 years ago were probably a tad nasty by todays standards. One could, of course, argue that those people are all dead now, but...I highly suspect that their demise had a little something to do with old age.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • CJ

      Yep. That and staph is eliminated at about 120 COOKING your food helps too. So unless you are one of those people who starts eating his/her filet mignon right out of the should be fine.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  33. Brian

    "DUH that is why you cook meat before you eat it!!!"...............................

    Most food poisoning is associated with restaurants. How do you cook your meat when you eat in a restaurant? – DUH!

    April 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  34. Alex

    Um... since when is 136 packages of chicken, turkey, pork, and ground beef purchased at 26 grocery stores in five cities around the country a good statistical representation of the United States? Someone needs to(re)take statistics and learn what a representative sample looks like.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  35. Infected

    66% of staph infections are actually caught in the hospital or doctor's offices, which is how I caught mine.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  36. Fallowt

    I think I could give up anything but meat. My only demand is that the animals that provide it are killed as humanely as possible.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • What?

      Hopefully it will ease your mind to know that that is a federal requirement – with the exception of kosher and halal slaughter.

      April 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  37. Thanh

    Meat and groceries aren't going to be sterile. They tried to push for gamma radiation sterilization of meat, but people's fear pushed it back.

    People have been eating meat with some kind of bacterial load since they could hunt. You really think mammoth meat was aseptically processed? The reason why most people eat meat today is because it's a reliable food source.

    However, gross contamination should be prevented in meat processing plants... and some people thought a DoA or FDA shutdown would be good.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Danki P

      Seriously, whomever thought that this was new news is seriously mistaken. while 50% of beef may have staph auerus, 100% of humans have it on their skin. It makes no sense to sterilize everything. This world was not meant to be sterile. The more things become sterile the more resistance that will emerge and the more problems we will have. Face it people without bacteria you wouldn't be alive. Just don't leave your meat out at room temperature for a long period of time and you have nothing to worry about toxin production.

      April 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  38. Whitney

    Whoever write this article needs to do some fact checking. Staph has been resistant to penicillin almost as long as penicillin has existed as a medication. Not all antibiotics work for every bacteria. This is why there are doctors out there–they've been taught to pick the appropriate antibiotic for whatever specific infection a person has. Also, the article doesn't mention where the Staph was. Was it within the meat, or was it just on the package; and if so, was it the inside, the outside, where? (And maybe this was within the video feed, which doesn't work on this computer at work, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one.) Seriously, guys. You fact check the articles you write about Hollywood stars more than something on a scientific subject.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • CincyCat

      I think this author has a PETA/Vegan agenda.

      Of course meat has bacteria. Humans carry bacteria everywhere all the time!

      This is why you're supposed to keep meat COLD until you are ready to eat it, then cook it to a temperature HOT enough to kill the – wait for it – bacteria!

      April 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  39. Ozarks Girl

    I eat meat 2 – 3 times a week because it is too expensive. We have to fill in with cheaper protein. The same goes for fresh vegies and fruit also. Too expensive.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Lobbyistgrl

      So what do you eat the other 4 days in a week? Hotpockets?

      April 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • Fa Fa Floley

        To paraphrase Jim Gaffigan: The product development meeting leading up to the invention of Hot Pockets probably went something like this, "Hey, I have an idea. How 'bout we get a Pop Tart and fill it with nasty meat?"

        April 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  40. HerpDerp

    Why is everyone so ignorant? I'm glad that I have a college education that taught me not to be terrified of everything the media spits out of its butthole, and to do my own research.

    First of all, most of you would freak if you saw how much E.coli is EVERYWHERE. It has the potential to make you somewhat ill, and is one of the toughest prokaryotes. There is bactera everywhere on earth, since it and the Kingdom Archaea are the most populous and prolific living things. There is so much bacteria in us that it outnumbers all of our own bodies' cells 10 to 1. In Microbiology lab, I learned that a good bit of Staph. aureus is everywhere. It's on the surface of most things, now that it's evolved and is resistant to most cephalosporin and penicillin antibiotics. When trying to aseptically transfer Staph onto an agar plate, I accidentally spilled some of the liquid broth on my folder. Lysol and one paper towel later, and I was home free.

    By the way, since some of you are freaking out so bad, you'd better go take a scalding shower RIGHT NOW. Because there is Staph. aures all over your body, about 25% of it. Oops, betcha didn't know that. If you did some research, of course you'd know. But as is the case with modern society, we don't like to think for ourselves, no one goes into science disciplines anymore. It's also inside 30% of the population's nose.

    If you also did research, you'd learn the side effects of eating staph are less than E.coli, or any other food poisoning bacterias. You have mostly diarrhea, and the symptoms of most are gone within 8-12 hours.

    People make the second mistake if disinfecting with bleach. NaClO is not that good at killing Staph or flu. You MUST use Lysol, we discovered out of 5 household cleaners, it killed most everything.

    Also, industrial farming [not factory. Know proper vocab if you want to make a point] has nothing to do with accelerating the resistance of Staph. There isn't even a vaccine us veterinarians give to cattle for it, unless they have been infected through something like mastitis, which is caused by staph. Farmers have nothing to do with this. In fact, it's probably more populous in the organic, non-sterile farmers due to the environment, especially non-industrial dairy, which can be dangerous to some people. It's been discovered by scientists in recent years that a sterile, concrete dairy parlor is best for milking. It gives less stress and infection to the cows/heifers, and makes it less dangerous to employees.

    Most of y'all need to go back to college or browse wiki a bit. Even wiki can teach you some science. Use items at your disposal. Constantly educated yourself on all subject matters so you don't appear a gullible fool believing everything you are told.

    And CNN, stop freakin trying to panic the ignorant masses. It will come back and bite you all in the butt later on. You'll become the equivalent of Fox News as far as accurate, non-biased reporting goes

    April 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • @HerpDerp

      "glad that I have a college education that taught me not to be terrified of everything the media spits out of its butthole, and to do my own research." Really? You need a college education to know that? You're one of those that thinks the sun rises and sets out of your @sshole, aren't you?

      April 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • HerpDerp

        Not really. I'm just saying that I have a double major in Animal Sciences and Microbiology. I would not have known most of the stuff I do without a decent education, and teachers pressuring me to think for myself. I'm trying to get people to actually look around for legitimate sources, especially when it comes to things dealing with one's livelyhood, like the food industry.

        Most of which is cited by sympathetic vegans [not all vegans. I like vegas, just not ones who have screamed at me and threatened me for simply working in a slaughterhouse. Thankfully I'm no longer aquainted with those two individuals], is outdated by almost 25 years, and is innacurate. The Land-o-Lakes butter dairy farm crap really got my panties in a twist because I've been to that farm before, and it looked nothing like the video on youtube, which led you to believe these cattle lived in small pens surrounded by their own filth. That was not the case. When not being milked, most were out to pasture, then came to the parlor for their daily milking and udder checkups. The infant cattle were hand-raised, the males shipped off to someone certified to deal with them [Dairy cattle bulls have killed more people than any other livestock animal combined. Might be a result of hand raising], and the facilities clean.

        Why don't you actually visit a cattle farm some day? Or perhaps take a tour of the CDC in Atlanta. I know they offer sterile tours to the public of specific portions.

        Sorry if I sounded pretentious, but I'm sick of the attitude people are taking as far as the food industry. No one knows what really goes on, and I think that's partially us ag people's fault. But that's changing. You can find webcams online that show 24/7 coverage of industrial farms. Google it. More farms should do this.

        Things just piss me off. Like someone saying they had grass-fed pigs. Pigs are monogastrics like us and, therefore, cannot digest grass. Things like that are what make me sometimes type without thinking about my syntax, and thus I sound arrogant and pretentious. Sorry.

        April 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • foodscience

      Being a Food Scientist I have to agree 100% with this post. I really with more people would read this before posting their vast misunderstanding of microbes. I know that not everyone went to school and studied this kind of stuff because it may not have been interesting to you so i'm not trying to bash anyone's ignorance (i said ignorance not stupudity). Read HerpDerp's post and learn, he is correct.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Daryn

      Ah, yet another vet student trying to be worldly. Herpy, you think you are full of knowledge but you are largely full of sht, you just don't know it yet. Try to remember that you are merely a student of the world, not the master. I'm an animal science prof and rural county vet and I still learn things almost every day. You are not smarter than everyone, in fact, your ignorance is what I hear most when you write about your "expertise". Fear not, your pompous attitude will fade in time or some farmer will actually beat it out of you. Every year I encounter fresh shiny faces like yours under the impression that they know so much more than they actually do, trying to tell us old vet vets how the world works. A few years in the real world later and the good ones return with "I thought I knew everything but discovered I knew nothing". Stay quiet youngster, arrogance isn't the same as experience.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • What?

        So why don't you tell us what he wrote that is so wrong, o enlightened one? You say he's full of sht, but you don't point out one thing he wrote that is in error. I can't vouch for 100% of it, but it looks pretty much dead-on to me, and I've been at this food science/meat science game for over 25 years.

        April 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  41. rj

    Lobbyists have gutted the USDA. They used to have the right to shut down dirty plants, not any more. The big meat packers have merged so much that shutting them down will hurt supply. The largest packers also hire the most illegals ever according to food inc.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • HerpDerp

      Funny. I work for one of the largest cow-calf producers in the southeast for my internship, and we did not have underqualified, illegal immigrants working for us. The USDA would shut us down for having not properly trained individuals. Also, the abattoir in the slaughterhouse has to have operators with specifically approved FDA training. Otherwise you could end up slaughtering animals inhumanely and possibly killing yourself with the machinery.

      Farming livestock cannot be done by ignorant, uneducated people. Did you know most large farms are ran by a farmer that has a 4 year agriculture degree?

      Once again, someone making claims about something they know nothing about. Us in the ag industry have been quiet recently because all the lobbying niche farmers scream over us and address portions of the population that think they are knowledge-saavy. We need to be more assertive, and show how much the ag industry has evolved for the better of both the consumer and the animal in the past 20 years. Most of it the result of Colorado St University, Auburn University, and Universitat da Hoenheim in Germany. Any farming process that has those names attached to it is legit, and using ever evolving methods from these top universities.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  42. Ames

    Thorough cooking and then digestive acids will kill any bacteria found on meat. It is the raw handling mistakes that expose people to the dangerous cross contamination from staph.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • What?

      Ames, you're on the right track, but there's a little something wrong with your train. Digestive acids will not kill all bacteria – salmonella being a prime example. Old Sal frequently winds up colonizing the gut and pumping out toxins that make you sick; this is a classic case of a "food infection" as opposed to a "food intoxication" in which you ingest the toxin that sickens you.

      April 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  43. Ray

    So why does CNN include a picture of beef with a certified organic sticker on it? Why didn't CNN report all the details of the study such as comments by the researching like this: The study points a finger at, “densely-stocked industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics... ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans.”

    Please CNN, tell us why you choose to mislead people?

    April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  44. Bodie

    Foodborne pathogens, antibiotics, hormones, and other concerns are the reason that I now raise my own lamb, chicken, beef, and pork. Yup, I keep animals and I butcher them. They are lower in fat and cholesterol because they are grass-fed instead of grain-fed, and I know exactly what they have been exposed to.

    For people that don't have this option, I recommend looking for a local farmer that sells shares of meat animals, or does custom processing. They're out there. You just have to spend a bit more time hunting. And they're not always much more expensive than the JUNK you are getting in the grocery store.

    For example, you might pay a bit more per pound for pastured chicken than for the birds at the grocery store, but the pastured chickens are not likely to be injected with water, so the price difference is less than it seems.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Apple6

      I've been steak for my entire life. Clearly there must be some resistance to it in my system!

      April 16, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  45. chaz Romano (not real name. take that CNN)

    i selected other. I get meat from a reap butcher. I get USDA Prime, grass fed AND finished organic meat. As an amateur chef i make sure none of it goes to waste. That is why i can afford 27$ per pound beef. Also, i rarely eat beef as i am in college and the food service beef is scary stuff as you well know. Even when at home i eat meat no more than 3 times a month

    April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  46. dragonwife

    THIS JUST IN! FDA ANNOUNCES ALL KNOWN FOOD IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH! POPULATION URGED TO BECOME AIR-ETERIANS! Okay, are we all through panicking now? Seriously... choose your food (meat or whatever) from a trusted source, prepare it carefully, and enjoy. It seems like every day, something or other is found to be dangerous or unsafe... of course, that's usually if ingested in larger quantities than any normal human would ever accomplish. Of course no one wants to eat something that's really going to cause illness, but the fearmongering has gotten out of hand. I'm going to go home and cook my husband & me a nice juicy steak, and not worry about it.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Mare@dragonwife

      Another WIN!

      But what about the air born pollutants? acid rain? LOL

      April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  47. Htos1

    JUST doing the jobs Americans won't do,oh,I don't blame the aztec and mayan descendents,they only have a slave education from the spanish rulers.And then they laugh at us as all the poor people come here in a co-ordinated invasion,based on a lie.Please wash hands after dumping,and learn what that rolled paper does.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  48. James

    Vegetarians that stay away from meat (because they don't know how to cook it??) turn a blind eye to all the E. Coli tainted spinach and lettuce they eat, lol.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Anisa

      e.coli is one issue. the number stuff growing on meat is probably in the millions

      April 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  49. StateofReason

    The problem isn't that it's got bacteria, the problem is with the specific bacteria it has. Staf isn't supposed to be in meat. It's there because of the factory meat plants unclean conditions. More importantly is that it's antibiotic resistant strains so if you get sick standard antibiotics won't help. This is because the factory meat houses pump their animals full of antibiotics to make up for the filthy conditions they live in. This creates resistance in the antibiotics.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
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