Pork, source of ‘bad’ bacteria: studies

New studies on food safety have found pork may contain even more dangerous germs than poultry. The findings were presented at the 2001 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago. A team of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested nearly 600 packages of ground pork purchased from different grocery stores in five states. They found high levels of Enterococci bacteria, a common cause of food poisoning that is resistant to antibiotic drugs.

Scientists say patients who have antibiotic-resistant enterococcal infections have a death rate of 37 per cent. Enterococci were found on three per cent of ground pork.

“With pork chops or steaks, you’ve got bacteria contamination on the outside,” says lead researcher Jennifer McClennan. And with ground meats, the bacteria are found throughout, making them more dangerous.

“You’ve got to make sure to cook (pork) thoroughly.”

As a result, McClennan says cooks should follow stringent practices when they prepare pork and anything cooked less than medium is probably not a good idea. Another study presented at the symposium raised further concerns about pork.

Dutch researchers found the Enterococci bacteria in pigs cause more trouble for humans than the same type of bacteria found in poultry. The researchers recommended farmers use antibiotics sparingly on their animals. About half of the antibiotics given to animals worldwide are used so they can grow bigger and remain disease-free.

The continuous exposure to antibiotics can also alter the balance of good to bad germs, promoting the antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria in the animal. Resistant strains can be passed on to humans when they consume the meat of the animal. Researchers found these bacteria in pork seemed to survive and thrive longer in humans than those found in poultry.

x

Check Also

Zika virus likely to spread across Asia: WHO

Follow Zika infections are “highly likely” to keep spreading across Asia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. Hundreds of cases of the virus have been reported in Singapore while two cases of Zika-linked microcephaly have already been confirmed in Thailand. The ...

Male contraceptive injection ‘shows promise’

Follow A hormone injection has been shown to be a safe and effective method of contraception – for men. US researchers say the jab was almost 96 percent effective in tests on around 270 men who were using it, with four pregnancies ...

3D-printed bone implant dissolves in body

Follow In a major step towards improving surgeries after head or face injuries, scientists have developed a new type of 3D-printed polymeric bone implants that can survive in the body for long periods and be subsequently replaced with natural bone tissue in ...