MRSA In The News – Superbug Now Found In Grocery Meat

In our previous posts about MRSA we have discussed the different ways this type of bacteria can be transmitted specifically through contact with an infected or colonized person. We have spent a lot of time talking about the high risks of getting infected in a hospital setting, but what about the risk of transmission from eating contaminated food?

In a recent alarming study, researchers have found MRSA bacteria in raw turkey, chicken and beef. This was first noticed in Detroit grocery stores. Experts say that they have always known that raw meat does in fact carry around bacteria and bugs like E. Coli. The recent findings of MRSA in raw meat should only reinforce the message that you need to wash your hands when handling meat and cook it thoroughly before eating.[1]

In the past, there have been studies that have shown MRSA in pork and beef but in this recent study, they have now found it in poultry. This may sound scary but the one thing you should know and remember about MRSA is that it is very different than other food borne bacteria. According to the news story, Staphylococcus aureus thrives living on the skin rather than inside your body, so it may be just as risky handling the food as it is eating it. This study is now raising questions as to where MRSA is originating from in the food supply chain. Is it from animals or is it from humans handling the food? Dr. William Schaffner says, “It’s possible that MRSA could be getting into the animals themselves, but an animal goes through an awful lot of processing before it lands on the supermarket shelves. The bugs could have been picked up during the processing phase.”[2]

We live in a world full of germs and bacteria and we need to remember this. Wash your hands thoroughly when handling raw meat and if you have an open cut on your hand you should be wearing gloves. Most of all, cook your meat all the way through. This will help ensure that dangerous bacteria like MRSA are being killed.[3]


[1] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/mrsa-superbug-bacteria-found-detroit-meat-means/story?id=13596809

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

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