Although consumers are eager for meat raised without
antibiotics the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has
conducted a study which indicates that drug-free pork might not always be the
In a comparison of antibiotic-free pigs and
conventionally raised pigs, more than half of the antibiotic-free ones in the
study tested positive for Salmonella
, compared to 39 percent of the conventional
livestock. The Toxoplasma gondii parasite was found in 6.8 percent of the
antibiotic-free stock, compared to 1.1 percent of the conventional livestock.
Two antibiotic-free pigs out of the 616 total tested also were positive
for Trichinella spiralis, a rare parasite that can be fatal to humans who
consume undercooked meat. It was considered to be eradicated from U.S. pork
Naturally raised pigs' exposure to moisture, vegetation and
other animals in their free-range environment could add to the higher instance
of common bacteria, the study adds.
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