Wednesday, 15 October 2014

10 weeks to Christmas - Norway faces an MRSA cc398 flavoured meal.

A strange twist, in Norway, to what seems to be a widespread custom of counting the shopping days or weeks to Christmas.

The Danish government and pig industry must be wincing at being caught between the vociferous Norwegians and determined Danish campaigners both demanding action against MRSA cc398.

One can easily imagine the Danish government would prefer to be like the tight-lipped Germans and French or even the biggest importers of Danish pork: the British.

But the real nightmare is for the British government and their veterinarians. It is in the last paragraph of the Norwegian newspaper report.

Look at it logically. Britain's government says Britain's pigs do not have MRSA, Norway admits some in Norwegian pigs and is dealing with it quite effectively.

The Norwegians also say the EU prevents them from controlling  imports of diseased pork from Denmark.

"EEA Agreement preclude Norway can check imported meat for MRSA bacteria. "

Neither can Britain, officially Porcine MRSA free, and also unable to control imports from Denmark because of the EU rules.

Britain's government and their state veterinarians are now between the devil and the deep blue sea.

They can either own up to MRSA in British pigs or face the prospect of Nigel Farage and his anti-EU UKIP intervening.

We wonder how long before Nigel Farage and his establishment-storming United Kingdom Independence Party finds out about all this?

Not long, we suspect, the clock is ticking as the days roll on towards Christmas followed by a General Election in Britain with UKIP emerging as a serious rival to the established parties.

We give a mechanical translation from the Norwegian. Be sure to read in full here.

10 weeks to Christmas: Begin the ribs imports

Now lowered tariffs on imported Christmas rib. Among other from Denmark, where antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria in swine herds are rapidly advancing.

Odd Pihlstrøm

Published: 15.okt. 2014 24:50 Updated: 15.okt. 2014 1:27 p.m.

Grocery chains' strong demand for pork towards Christmas has for years created a shortage of Norwegian ribs, although there has been overproduction of pork.

Use of ribs as cheap bait in price promotions are another important factor.This creates an unpredictable relationship between supply and demand.

Additional import of ribs and lamb ribs

It should not be missing ribs for this year's Christmas dinners...

...From animals to humans

At the same booklet there is a growing concern that the so-called supplementary imports of fresh Christmas ribs can lead to increased infection pressure from an animal associated variant of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA).

Imports have in recent years been particularly Denmark and Germany. As with most of the rest of the EU is struggling both countries are struggling with the spread of these bacteria. In Denmark, MRSA bacteria killed four people in the past.

LA-MRSA is easily spread in animal herds and can be transmitted from pigs and other farm animals to humans. According to media reports in Denmark are germs in over 20 percent of pork in Danish shops.

Campaign against the spread

In Norway, the LA-MRSA now detected in some 20 swine herds. FSA cooperates with agricultural and health authorities to prevent further spread.The national budget is allocated additional funds for compensation for pig farmers must slaughter herds.

In people who already have compromised health can LA-MRSA can cause serious infections. It is therefore particularly important to prevent bacteria from entering the hospital, nursing homes and other healthcare institutions.

EEA Agreement preclude Norway can check imported meat for MRSA bacteria. Therefore, the FSA does not guarantee that imported Christmas rib or other imported meat is free of contaminants. At the same time considering audit risk of being infected with the bacteria that small, if one follows the usual rules for handling raw meat.