Saturday, 21 January 2012

MRSA in Conventional and Alternative Retail Pork Products

Research by the University of Iowa tells a sorry tale of MRSA in pigs, and pork  in the USA. The position there is even worse than previously thought.

The research seems to carry no good news for the organic movement either.

It is amazing how Britain's state veterinary service, veterans of numerous previous animal epidemics, have managed to keep Britain's pigs and pork clear of MRSA, whilst the rest of the world continues to report a worsening situation.

Nobody has sought to claim a premium for British pork being MRSA free, isn't that strange?

The pigs have produced 20 percent less pork per sow than their continental competitors for years and yet nobody  gives any plausible reason.

The British government vets are all lined up for their generous pensions and gongs.

Wake up England!

The quote below is from a blog published today by Tara C Smith, a major researcher on MRSA in livestock in the USA.

The blog, in full, is here

MRSA in pork products: does the "antibiotic-free" label make a difference?

...What does the molecular typing tell us, speaking of contamination
source? We carried out analyses on all the MRSA and found that the
most common type of MRSA was ST398, the "livestock" strain that we
previously found on pig farms in the U.S. We also found two "human"
types were common: USA300 (a "community-associated" strain) and USA100
(typically considered a "hospital-associated" strain). In the simplest
analysis of these findings, these molecular types (a combination of
"human" and "pig" strains) suggests that MRSA on raw pork products may
be coming both from farms and from food handlers. However, in real
life, it's not quite so straightforward. USA100 types have also been
found in live pigs. So has USA300. As such, the source of
contamination and relative contributions of live pigs versus human
meat handlers currently isn't certain....

The  full University of Iowa News Release is here

Highlights include:

...Jan. 20, 2012

UI study: High levels of MRSA bacteria in retail meat products

Retail pork products in the United States. have a higher prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) than previously identified, according to new research by the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
MRSA can occur in the environment and in raw meat products, and is estimated to cause around 185,000 cases of food poisoning each year. The bacteria can also cause serious, life-threatening infections of the bloodstream, skin, lungs, and other organs. MRSA is resistant to a number of antibiotics.

The study, published Jan. 19 in the online science journal PLoS ONE, represents the largest sampling of raw meat products for MRSA contamination to date in the U.S. The researchers collected 395 raw pork samples from 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Of these samples, 26 -- or about 7 percent -- carried MRSA...

The abstract and full report is available on  Plosone here  titled:

MRSA in Conventional and Alternative Retail Pork Products