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How to Avoid ""Superbugs"" When Buying Meat


Antibiotic resistant bacteria have been getting a lot of buzz in the media these days for many reasons, including possible dangers in our food products. Experts are saying that the regular and heavy use of antibiotics in animals on factory farms are one of the reasons why bacteria are getting so strong. These bacteria, what are now being called, "superbugs," are being detected in supermarket meats in alarming numbers.  In fact, 87 percent of all the government tested meat showed positive for these bacteria. One test found that 81 percent of ground turkey, 69 percent of pork chops, 55 percent of ground beef, and 39 percent of chicken contained Enterococcus faecalis, an antibiotic-resistant germ that is normally found in human and animal intestines. Scientists believe that these findings means that the meats likely came into contact with fecal matter and that there is a great chance that other antibiotic-resistant bacterias are on the meat as well.

Enterococcus faecalis is just one antibiotic-resistant bacteria; Campylobacter and salmonella are also found in significant amounts on poultry. These germs are said to be the cause of about 3.6 million food poisoning cases a year and their resistance levels to antibiotics grow annually making them harder to get rid of.

What can you do to avoid superbugs in your meat?

  • With almost 80 percent of the antibiotics marketed in the US being used in livestock, you can look for meats that have labels that read 'organic' or 'antibiotic-free.' These labels indicate that there are likely less superbugs because there was no need for antibiotics.
  • Buy from farmers who use antibiotics only when necessary.
  • Know where your meat was sourced and how it was raised, knowing the farming practices can give you a good indication on environmental conditions of the livestock and the likelihood of unhygienic practices.
  • Make sure to keep your meat away from produce when it is in your shopping cart and in your grocery bag.
  • Keep your meat properly chilled and avoid contamination with surfaces that you will use to chop produce.
  • Thaw meat in the fridge or in cold water, not on the counter.
  • Be sure to properly cook your meat to the right temperature.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice

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