11% pork is contaminated with MRSA bacteria
A recent study carried out by the risk department of
the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) revealed that 11% of
meat products in the retail sector is contaminated with the hospital bacteria
In 84% of the cases, the nt-MRSA (non-typable MRSA), which affects pigs,
calves and livestock farmers is present.
MRSA is the name given to a group of bacteria that belong to the
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) family of bacteria. The people who are most at risk
of becoming either colonised or infected with MRSA are those in close contact
with people who may be carrying the bacteria, for example in hospital wards that
care for ill people. Nt-MRSA is a clone of MRSA.
According to the Authority, meat does not contribute to the spread of the
bacteria, which is resistant to most antibiotics. However, nt-MRSA can be spread
where livestock is kept.
Suprisingly, most nt-MRSA is found in turkey
and chicken (31 and 27% respectively). With live animals, the bacteria is only
found in pigs and calves.
"The figures also surprised me. My first thoughts were that it can be spread
through processing," according to MRSA-specialist, Arie van Nes, from the
Faculty of Animal Health in Utrecht.
MRSA has not been found in live poultry yet. The animal health authority has
confirmed that 50% of animals on pig farms are infected with the bacteria. As
regards the level of infection on cattle farms, the figure is not yet known, but
is under research.
â€¢ Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA)
the latest pig news, subscribe here
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.