How Untreatable Infection Gets to Your Kitchen

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According to a study (clik here) released last week researchers have found high levels of antibiotic resistant staph bacteria in grocery store meat exposing people to really bad skin and respiratory infections nationwide.

The most significant findings from the study aren’t the level of bacteria they found, but rather how the bacteria in the meat was becoming strongly resistant to antibiotics farmers put in the feed to allow animals to survive the filthy conditions in CAFOs. Johns Hopkins’s scientists call these facilities “perfect pathogen incubators”.

This is one more reason to be very careful when you’re handling raw meat and poultry in the kitchen. You can cook away these bacteria. But the problem is when you bring in the raw product, you almost inevitably contaminate your kitchen and your hands with these bacteria, which are easily spread to other people and food.

Our recent tour of 8 restaurants in Talbot County revealed that all the meat came from CAFO’s. Is your restaurant aware of these issues or are they contaminating their cooks, their kitchens, and your food with antibiotic resistant staph bacteria?

Recent efforts by the Congress to eliminate antibiotics from CAFO feed has failed due to the power of the Agribusiness Lobby led by the American Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, The Corn Growers Association and the various meat producers. These are the same people who still fight the Gulf Task Force in efforts to restore the Gulf of Mexico and are currently suing the EPA to stop efforts to restore Chesapeake Bay. Is this lobby running the Country as they appear to run the State Of Maryland (see Gov. O’Malley post)? If so who is at fault the intimidator or those who allow themselves to be intimidated? Call your Congressman and ask him or her.

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One Response to “How Untreatable Infection Gets to Your Kitchen”

  1. Catherine Dennen Says:

    There are more than 40,000 cases of food-borne infections by Campylobacter, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and E.Coli that cause about 500 deaths in the U.S. every year. According to Charles Welden and Rex Hossler (professors/researchers at Southern Oregon University) the manufacturers have responded to increasing consumer concerns over food-borne infections by incorporating antimicrobial chemicals into a wide variety of household products from soaps to cutting boards. One problem with this is that it removes competitors that would normally prevent pathogens from colonizing household surfaces, increasing the risk of dangerous infections by other routes. Another problem is that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in our society has caused bacteria to build up a resistance to antibiotics through natural selection. Bacteria are able to build up this resistant because they are able to grow rapidly, which allows for a higher amount of mutations and genes that could possibly be beneficial to the bacteria in their environment. These rapid mutations in a relatively short period of time is one of the reasons that bacteria have biologically been able to become resistant to certain antibiotics, because eventually one of these mutations enables them to withstand the antibiotic that has been killing/hurting them. If the amount of antibiotics in CAFO feed and many other products is not reduced or eliminated soon then the amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria will increase along with infections and deaths.

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