Now would be a good time to go vegetarian, or demitarian, or just find a reputable butcher. A new study from the Translational Genomics Research Institute has found that 47 percent of tested samples of supermarket meat and poultry were infected with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes a range of health problems including skin infections and food poisoning. Half of the bacteria found in the study were resistant to at least three antibiotics. So if you buy meat at the grocery store, you've got a one in four chance of bringing home a drug-resistant superbug.
As long as you're cooking your meat properly, it's not like you're serving up MRSA and potatoes for dinner. But if your meat cross-contaminates stuff in your kitchen — cutting boards, other food, your hands — then watch out.
It's definitely enough to put you off meat forever. But factory farming is to blame for these stomach-turning findings — animals are housed in cramped quarters and constantly hopped up on antibiotics. So starving out industrial farms by buying your meat from small organic farmers may help cut the problem off before it begins.
- Nationwide study finds U.S. meat and poultry is widely contaminated , Translational Genomics Research Institute
Get Grist in your inbox