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
It's a bit misleading to have a photo of organic meat under a heading about staph being found in meat. It makes it look like organic meat is a large part of the problem which is usually not the case.
I wish people would do the research before making comments about issues they know little about. The bacteria in meat products is becoming an issue not just because the bacteria is there. The World Health Organization and the Center of Concerned Scientist have been studying this rapidly increasing problem for years. The bacteria found in meat is becoming antibiotic resistant due to the over use of antibiotics in live stock. There are some extremely informative websites covering this topic.
I don't have many options for meat in my area that would allow me to avoid the possibly contaminated meat. I also don't want to quit meat all together.
I love how sampling 137 packages of meat is good enough to evaluate "all the meat in America." Following this formula, you could also say that "75 Percent of All Men Have Committed Murder", "80 Percent of All U.S. Presidents Were Assassinated", or "Nick Cage Stars in 90 Percent of All Movies". Ok, that last one might be true. But the phrasing of this story, let alone the title, is irresponsible on a level I never thought I'd see from a mainstream news source. It's overtly misleading and almost childish in its naievity.
American journalists are getting lazier and more malevolent by the day. By 2020 every news story published in this country is just going to be titled "You're Going to Die!!!!!" The lead will be: "A random, unnamed source has informed this reporter that all spoons in the United States contain radioactive asbestos and are forged in rickety Columbian sweatshops by kidnapped American tourists". The rest of the story will read: "blah blah new government regulations blah blah stock prices plummet blah blah follow us on Twitter".
I hope for my children's sake they are too dumb to read.
Did you flunk basic math? The 137 packages of meat used in the experiment were supposed to show an AVERAGE percentage. You hope for your kids' sakes they can't read, but can you?
Well, I do not know if we should worry but; in Europe if a farmer sells a 100 pigs, every pig's meat is tested. On the other hand, in the US, only ONE out of all of the pigs sold by one farmer at the same time has to tested... They also have strict ruls about anybody that works with food; everybody has to be tested for all kinds of transferrable diseases... On the other hand, if I, for example go to the restaurant here, I do not know if the food that I'm eating was not prepared by somebody with hepatitis B, and served to me by somebody wih aids.... And we like the lack of regulation in this respect, because it is cheaper.... Europeans do not care, they rather be safe than sorry....
I wonder how much bacteria I get. I work in a sawmill, live near a river, have dogs, eat wild game and fish, and only wipe out my cast iron skillet with a dry cloth. We worry to much and sterilize things around us way to much. It is no wonder no one builds up an immunity to things
Make no mistake. The well-being of every living thing on Earth is constantly being weighed against the profits of our corporate overlords.
Until people are falling over dead in the streets prematurely, a little disease and cancer here and there will be allowed.
Meat and poultry are cooked completly (well done), so the bacteria are killed and it is not a problem for us.
Just because the corpse has been cooked properly doesn't exuse the fact that you are supporting murder.
It's far more likely that the iron in the beef will kill you (See Fenton Reaction) before the staph or MRSA from the dead cow or the butcher's grubby hands. see mitochodrial superoxide dismutase induction. See also Sirtuins and the FOXO gene. Some are born with a G-G FOXO gene donated one each by their parents. Like lotto winners, they don't have to watch their diet much, and they're going to live to over 108 (unless a bus hits them.) Most of us have C-C or C-G or G-C. Bummer, huh. Fortunately, it's not entirely outside of our own control really. Just eat 70% of the calories as the aforementioned lucky few, or better yet, eat a diet rich in Sirtuin activating calorie restriction mimetics including red wine, blueberries, peanuts, (resveratrol, pterostilbenes) and the all important soybean sprout (phytoestrogens, lunasin and iron chelating phytic acid.) Thanks CNN (Certainly Not News.)
This is the first I heard of this string of outbreaks.. Why can't standards be higher at butcher shops or warehouses?? Fire the FDA secretary please!! They aren't doing their job.. Too many recalls..
Yeah? You try surviving one of their inspections then. Anyway, the USDA is in charge of inspecting meat packaging and processing plants genius. If anything, FDA is way too reactionary. Instead of trying to obtain a zero defect status quo, they should design their processes to build and foster voluntary quality assurance standards from those they are charged with inspecting. Only managers from the regulated industries can oversee and improve the well designed processes which will minimize the risk to the public. (See W. Edward Deming.)
Is this including organic meats? I notice that's an organic meat package.... Yes it bothers me, what are we going to do? Our food is contaminated with radiation as well.
It looks like there's really nothing we can do.
It bothers me to think you really believe that there is nothing we can do...you could not support the meat industry. You could go vegan. Its empowering and not as constricting as people think. People are just afraid of change.
100% of all groceries sold in the U.S. are tainted with greed.
what a ridiculous article, what's the point of it? what exactly does this suggest? no options, just that they found bacteria?
a good article will talk about what has been found, what can be done about it, and what has been done about it, and how many people have died about it, and this article just points out something that leaves everyone without the means to investigate to just ban meat's? is that what they want?
nowhere does it say that this type of bacteria doesnt die when cooked. so why make an article that gives people dead ends, thats what i hate, when people put dead ends when they shouldnt, its ridiculous.
i'll just not say anything anymore, someone needs to do thier job right to get info out to the people who want it, if they're too lazy to do it then they should quit their job and make a site that is just going to scare people while they laugh at it, then ask them what they're gonna do about it and have that multiple choice like this article does right below it, how insulting
We eat much less meat than we ever did, and what we eat is now 100% grass fed from birth to slaughter. Both beef and bison are available in a few stores and online. Cows are injected with growth hormones and about 8 lbs of antibiotics while finishing their growth in feedlots. Grass fed meat has a much higher ration of good fats to bad than corn fed. The reason they use antibiotics is because ruminants such as cows get sick when eating large amounts of grain. Not a guarantee but gives us a fighting chance and is a lot healthier overall. Downside is grass fed takes longer to raise to market weight and is double the price aprox.
Instead of growing healthy beef, the U.S. farming industry is growing and breeding lethal bacteria. Just because they want to make some more profit...
Buy organic beef, it is much healthier and tastes much better.
And this would be why we buy meat from local farms with grass-fed animals.
136 samples does not a nationwide survey make!
Irresponsible journalism. Is anyone really this stupid?
OH GIVE ME A BREAK!.... I'll have to stop eating EVERYTHING, give up BREATHING, hide in the DARK, keep my distance from every living thing (or I might get a cold), what I eat, drink, where I live, who I live with, which doctor I see. I'm doomed.
Enough is enough. COOK THE DAMN MEAT and don't wash your hands in it.
News is so sensationalist in this country. They make up your mind on everything even how you wipe your butt. No one thinks for themselves anymore and two political parties don't make a true democracy.
This is irresponsible journalism; the like of which we haven't seen since I was on television.
As others have mentioned, it's strange that they chose to use a photo of organic meat for this story. I see nothing in the story that mentions anything about organic meat. Yet the first thing you see is a photo of it when you click onto this page, which alarmed me at first, as I enjoy eating organic meat.
This is just another reason why you shouldn't eat meat. I am a strict vegetarian because I think I should put respect for all life before my taste buds. I don't think anyone should make a living off of killing. Saying that going vegetarian is hurting slaughterhouse workers is like putting Jews in a gas chamber and saying that if we didn't, the people making the cyanide would be financially hurting. My reward for not eating a corpse that has been barbarically murdered in cold blood is having my food Staph-free and no cancer in my colon.
My slogan is "kill a cow, go to hell," because if anyone thinks animals are of lesser importance, they deserve to get the disgusting diseases in meat.
Cook ur meat appropriately and freeze it to decrease parasite counts.
Cooking temp/time/bacterial death
°F °C Minimum Time
120 49 21 hours
122 50.0 9.5 hours
124 51.1 4.5hours
126 52.2 2 hours
128 53.4 1 hours
130 54.5 30 minutes
132 55.6 15 minutes
134 56.7 6 minutes
136 57.8 3 minutes
138 58.9 2 minutes
140 60.0 1 minute
142 61.1 1 minute
144 62.2 Instant
Freezing pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5 °F (−15 °C) or three days at −4 °F (−20 °C) kills larval worms.
USE SOME COMMON SENSE HERE PEOPLE!! TEST UR IMMUNE SYSTEM ONCE IN A WHILE AND QUIT BEING SO FRAGILE!!Eat meat and use common safety practices. Would you consume asparagus without rinsing first with water?? There is probably a lot of bacteria on our veggies as well.
have you been living under a rock?! THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS CLEAN MEAT!!! unless you consider a corpse with 1,000 parasite larva per square inch clean...
Pete, you're a little 'off' here. You're quoting info for deactivating trichina, the parasitic worm that causes trichinosis, a totally different ballgame from bacteria. Time/temperature kill relationships differ for most of the 'bugs', and what works for one won't work for another.
Notice how they chose a picture of 'organic beef'. I think "they" (big corporations) are going to go after the organic food market. We are taking too much control back from corporations in all manner of our lives with organic and local food choices, hybrid vehicles and a growing market base interested in green choices, that can't make 'them' happy. I think 'they' will try to discredit the organic food market in order to gain more control and then try to regulate it out of existence. Just my opinion. I've been eating organic meats and veggies for years (we raised cows in my youth and even butchered myself) and never once gotten ill from any item no matter what farm. The only time I've gotten ill is from USDA 'approved' meats/eggs most likely stored at insufficient temperatures.
PETA=People Eating Tasty Animals
I would hope all meat eaters would d ie http://www.tryveg.com
The animals are tortured their entire lives so you can have a big mac
Wow Jim that's a little extreme don't you think???
No...extreme is how animals are treated for food, medicine and cosmetics.
you rock! I'm with you all the way! Meat is murder...no matter how you slice it
I would hope all meateaters would d ie http://www.tryveg.com
The animals are tortured their entire lives so you can have a big mac
you rock! I am totally with you. People who eat meat deserve to be treated like the animals in factory farms.
same reaction as* me, woops drinking wine and typing doesn't mix.
Half the meat in the country consists of thousands of tons. We should be seeing a massive outbreak of steph infections, yet this is not happening. Why? The reason is most meat is cooked and the bacteria is killed and we have anti-bodies that prevent us from getting sick.
This is just journalism at its worst, a CNN writer crying wolf where the goal is to create reader hysteria.
Whew, so glad it seems most people had the same reaction to me. I'm so sick of alarmist type articles like this. Having developed a MRSA infection which is Methicillin-resistant (and penicillin resistant)Staphylococcus aureus, last year, I learned a lot about staph infections. I learned we carry staph bacteria in our nose but it can result in infection if skin is broken and the bacteria gets inside and doesn't heal properly, but is usually contracted from touching something an infected person has touched, and the prime environment to catch MRSA is a hospital. I'm pretty sure I got it from riding a bus to work for a year because there were the dirtiest, sketchiest, most drug-addicted people out there sitting in seats next to me. It was during that year of bus-riding I got two infections. At any rate, all it took was a different antibiotic to heal and I bought some special cleaning solvent and ointment to prevent future outbreaks. Since my infection I have met three other people who have had it as well, one was a mother of a child who said every kid in their neighborhood got an outbreak from jumping on the same trampoline. None of them died by the way. It's easily treatable. The only time it is fatal is if it gets into your bloodstream like during heart surgery. I know someone whose mother died from MRSA in that case. Based on my experience, I'm not that concerned that the simple strain of staph is found in meat. We are also meat and we also carry that bacteria. It is only MRSA that can be fatal and that is only if it is untreated and gets into your bloodstream, usually through surgery.
I stopped buying meat in stores - I go to a local butcher who raises his own cows
And we inject ammonia into our ground beef to prevent E-Coli...let's just have chemists produce food, oh wait we have that already with Monsanto who owns our seeds (corn, etc..)
Seriously, Seriously?! Staphylococcal Food Poisening, aka Staphylococcal Gastroenteritis comes from eating, wait for it Mister Seriously?! FOOD tainted with certain types of Staph. Darn those stomach acids, falling down on the job.
" Symptoms usually begin abruptly with severe nausea and vomiting starting about 2 to 8 hours after the contaminated food is eaten. Other symptoms may include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and sometimes headache and fever. Severe fluid and electrolyte loss may cause weakness and very low blood pressure (shock). Symptoms usually last less than 12 hours, and recovery is usually complete. Occasionally, staphylococcal food poisoning is fatal, especially in the very young, the very old, and people weakened by long-term illness." – Merck
Stomach acids are just not cutting it. Perhaps the reason you don't hear about a "mass outbreak" is because few people seek medical attention for 12 hours of puking their guts out while sitting on the toilet. That doesn't mean they aren't sick.
How about we stop giving “subtherapeutic” doses of antibiotics to the animals just to cause weight gain. While were at it, we could stop the hormones we pump into the cattle. Maybe we'd have fewer 7 years olds going through puberty. And while were at it – COWS ARE NOT INTENDED TO EAT CORN, but if you decide to raise grass fed cattle, you have to be careful. The corn industry is very powerful and they can effectively put you out of business. By the way – your dogs and cats don't naturally eat corn either, but the CORN KINGS have strong armed the pet food industry, too.
-Former long-time nurse for physician specializing in nutritional medicine.
Your 'name' is appropriate. You do realize that Staphylococcal food poisoning is a food intoxication, and not a food infection, don't you? and that stomach acid will kill the bacteria but not deactivate the enterotoxin?
Oh, yeah, about that COWS ARE NOT INTENDED TO EAT CORN thing – have you bothered to tell the cows that? because I'm pretty sure that they have to be educated to that fact, at least by the way they act any time they get around corn. You really should stick to your 'human medicine' and leave the animal science stuff to others who know a little more about it than you do.
Yes, I did know that it is the toxins, not the staph itself that is the culpret in the GI tract issues. But you don't get the toxins without the staph. While I have a particular dislike of GI problems, I am more concerned about the mommy making meatloaf with her hands. Concered about the little kid eating a burger. Yes, staph is everywhere, all over us and everything around us and I'm old enough to have been around when that was no big deal. If you got a staph infection you took one course of antibiotics, maybe an injection, and you were cured. Now, thanks to resistant strains, it's a different game. Just last year, in my office of 33 people, 3 got staph infections. MRSA. The first guy runs marathons and had to have knee surgery. Two weeks post-op the infection made itself known – surgery to clean out as much infection as possible – ICU for 2 days – 2 more days in Hospital – more weeks at home – Pick Line for months,etc. A year later and he is still having problems. Second guy got it on his face, probably from a shaving nick. Now that was gross. Poor guy used to be kind of cute. The last guy doesn't even know how he got it. He ended up in the hospital and had months of treatment for an staph infection on his forearm without any discernable break in the skin. 40 years ago, it was usually no big deal. Now we feed the staph a steady diet of antibiotics, given to the cows for the side effect of fatter cows and prophylactic protection against mastitis. That would be like taking penicillin every day so as to prevent yourself from getting strep throat in the future. Having been fed the antibiotics for all of these years, the staph, which is normally present on cows, as it is on us, isn't NORMAL at all. It may be normal for it to be there, but there is nothing normal about this staph. This staph is giving those antibiotics the finger and this staph, staph strong enough to survive on and in our "treated" meat is the kind of staph that doesn't give a damn about our antibiotics, anymore. Couple that with years of people using antibiotics like they were aspirin, and we have created "Super Bugs." This is where we're at. It is what it is. It's not about frightening people, although I think we should every once in a while, it's about enlightening them. You know...Knowledge is power...fore-warned is fore-armed...that sort of thing. I will continue to eat my steaks, burgers, and pot roasts. The thing is, washing of hands, avoiding cross contamination, covering wounds apropriately, these things aren't just about cleanliness being next to godliness, clean hands clean mind, or whatever saying the moms of 20, 30, and 40 years ago used on us. It's about real and potentialy devastaing dangers and therefore, precautions must be followed. My experience has been that it usually takes a real good scare to get people to change their ways. Universal Precautions didn't exist in hospitals before AIDES scared people into a panic. Many of the practices we now accept as standard in the area of Infection control were, prior to the AIDES panic, only applied to patients in quarantined rooms. Thanks to a healthy dose of fear, avoiding contact with bodily fluids is something everyone takes seriously, now. Kids using dirtly old Boy Scout or Girl Scout knives to cut themselves and rub their open, bleeding wounds together, mixing their blood, becoming Blood Brothers is a part of my past, but thanks to the great motivator, FEAR, it won't be a part of my grandchildrens'. Butterfly a Filet Mignon, roll out some meatballs, stop in at Micky D's for a big burger. Enjoy your food. But be afraid enough so that you make safety measures a priorty in your home. By the way, I am not an "over cleaner"or a germaphobe. No disinfectant wipes for my desk, when a coworker has a cold, thank you very much. I like the germs that share my space with me. The more the merrier. If we expose ourselves to germs in small doses on a regular basis, we build stronger immune systems. A strong immune system may be the best protection, yet.
You see, silly doesn't mean stupid.
Eat meat, but be clean about it, and stay away from the steak tartar.
One more thing. Many animals will eat anything they are fed, whether their bodies are designed for that food or not. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs, but try to stop a dog who gets ahold of a 3 pound bag of M & Ms. I think it is you who needs to do aome more research. The digestive tract of cattle is designed for grass, not grain. Little Boy Blue's cows may have been in the corn, but in the real world, if left to fend for themselves, the cows will be found grazing in the grass, not grabbing ahold of ears of corn, ripping them off the stalk and chomping down, through the husk, mind you, for a mid-day snack. The only way a cow eats corn is if man is control of the cow's diet.
While I agree with most of your reply, I do take exception to some things –
MRSA is a bad actor, there's no doubt about that. There are multiple posters here who seem to believe – or at least want everyone else to believe – that MRSA infections area direct result of feeding antibiotics to animals, especially cattle. Mastitis really is only a concern with dairy cattle, because you can't sell the milk of a cow with mastitis (= lost income); however, you can't sell the milk from a cow on antibiotics, either, so dairy cattle simply are not given prophylactic protection against mastitis.
Your co-worker who had the knee surgery apparently picked up the infection in the hospital, where MRSA actually originated. The prevailing theory among people who should know is that the MRSA being seen on farms and in animals now actually was transferred there from a hospital source. I'm sure you also know that MRSA is now poppin up in place where it never existed – or was expected – before, in places that have nothing to do with animal agriculture. It is unlikely that these point sources are animal-derived.
And I am here to tell you that – given the chance – even if they'e never seen it before, cows absolutely will devour ears of corn "through the husk", but they won't stop there, they'll eat the entire corn stalk, ear and all. They have rumens so that they can truly digest and get the nutrients out of celluose; that doesn't mean they can't digest starch, too. Given this line of reasoning a deer, which is also a ruminant, "won't/can't" eat grain unless forced – you know anything about deer and what they eat?
Canada had healthy food to eat – we're good.
Unless I missed something this article doesn't tell you who the researchers are, if the bacteria are present in high enough levels to cause disease in a health adult, whether cooking will make the meat safe, etc. Bacteria actually are present in uncooked tubors than they are in uncooked meat. Does that mean we should stop eating tubors. This article is worse than useless.
Now that is some sensationalist journalism. Simply cook your meat and you don't have to worry about it. I eat red meat and poultry on a regular basis and have never been sick from it. If 50% of meat were contaminated, and cooking didn't kill the bacteria, then I would be really sick almost constantly. If you are really worried about it, invest a few bucks in a meat thermometer to ensure proper internal cooking temp. Problem solved.
oh great now that half the meat in usa is tainted and thanks to the brain dead republicans and that includes there noobies who know nothing (rookies). they forced cuts in the food inspection industry for their budget cuts and now expect thousands to probably drop dead. guess the GOP figures the way to win is kill off the opposition.
Quit buying it from places hiring ILLEGALS.
Staph may exist in "1/2 of U.S. meat..." or it may not.
This study certainly does not show that.
136 packages from 5 cities? A rather small statistical universe from which to level this sort of accusation at 50% of the meat available in the U.S., not to mention the details NOT disclosed here.
All this article proves is that crap "science reporting" is on the rise.
Considering the prevalence of S. aureus in humans anyway, ignorant "scare reports are a much bigger risk.
Meat of any kind.....including fish just doesn't taste good to me at 72 years old. I eat fresh veggies, brown rice, eggs and fresh fruit plus cheese. I've never had any kind of stomach virus for at least 35 years.
Help in the Form of an Alert System..NOT the Scare System @NipperAlert
@TwM – your sense of compassion is overwhelming.
Well, seeing as staph is killed during cooking, it would make sense for people to take care if they have open wounds on their hands while handling meat. And, also know that staph a. is everywhere....you've got it on your skin, and probably colonies in your nostrils. So, does staph on meat frighten me? Um, no... I sure wish people would stop trying to scare the clueless public.
You can't stop eating meat really without any harm to the carnivora specimen you are as a human – meat has the proteins your body needs. Sanitary control becomes very important.
should'nt we take care of our bodies as we do our cars?
This is really scary! Are we the only country that posions our own food supply? I think it is so scary people just don't care anymore or they just don't know what to do. I take a Nutritional Cleansing product everyday to help with some of the impurities. body123.com Our country needs to wake up & find out what to do to either cut back or find better options.
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