miércoles, 5 de octubre de 2016

Superbug reportedly found in UK supermarket pork products

Meat was contaminated with a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

A British newspaper has reported that tests on pork products sold at two major UK supermarket chains found three samples contaminated with a livestock strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

According to The Guardian newspaper, the test results raise concerns that the country “is on the brink of another food scandal” similar to recent revelations of Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli on chicken sold at retail.

The most recent tests were done on minced samples of 97 U.K.-produced pork products sold at Asda Stores Ltd., a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Sainsbury’s. They are two of the largest supermarket chains in Britain.

The report, a joint effort between the newspaper and the non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, noted that a loophole in British import rules allows live pigs from Denmark and other countries to enter the U.K. although they may be infected with MRSA CC398, the livestock strain of the potentially deadly superbug.

Public health officials are concerned about superbugs because even the strongest antibiotics available might not cure some people who become infected by MRSA, which can be contracted from eating infected meat or through contact with infected animals.
And while MRSA can be destroyed by thorough cooking, it can be passed on to others through inadequate hygiene practices.
The Guardian reported that without sufficient action, MRSA CC38 could spread throughout the U.K. as it has in Denmark. It may have infected as many as 12,000 people in that country and has been found on two-thirds of Danish pig farms, according to the newspaper report.
“Thousands of people have contracted the livestock-associated strain of MRSA in Denmark and six have died from it in the last five years,” the Bureau of Investigative Journalism stated.
British pig farms are not regularly screened for MRSA CC398 because the government believes that it poses a relatively low risk to human health. The Guardian noted that two confirmed cases have been reported on U.K pig farms, one in eastern England and one in Northern Ireland.

In response to the report, Asda released this statement: “Our customers can be assured that we are working closely with industry groups and farmers to make sure that antibiotics are used responsibly in farm animals. We are doing all we can to promote good animal health and welfare conditions without relying on antibiotics.”

Source: www.theguardian.com › Environment › Farming

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