“Listen, my friends and you will hear,
A story more alarming than Paul Revere!”
How many of you would eat food laced with feces?
For those of you that say, “hell, no!” the Center for Disease Control and others have tested the bacterial prevalence (and likely fecal contamination) of meat from grocery stores. This is what they found:
1. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, (MRSA) is an antibiotic resistant superbug that since 2005 has killed more Americans than AIDS. MRSA was found in 5% of meat tested. When anyone walks into a patient’s hospital room with this infection, they are required to put on a gown and gloves for protection!
2. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) was found in 40% of chicken breasts – C. diff is another superbug – grill the chicken for an hour and it can still be there. C. diff frequently causes severe diarrhea in those over 65 or after taking antibiotics.
3. E-Coli was found in 70% of samples. The strain of E. Coli that most frequently causes bladder infection in women is traced to the most common strain in chickens. Anecdotally, I was talking about this to a friend yesterday who responded, “We wondered why my wife’s urinary tract infections stopped. Now I know, we stopped eating chicken the same month!
So how can you help prevent these superbugs from getting you?
- Glove up when handling raw meat
- Wash hands thoroughly and frequently when cooking with meats
- Make sure to use separate cutting boards for meat and other foods to avoid cross-contamination
- The cutting boards you use for meat should be non-porous so that they can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Ensure that all meats are cooked thoroughly to their proper temperatures.
If you feel like these steps are still not enough, than cutting back on meat or removing it from your diet completely can help you avoid infections from these superbugs.