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Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Common in Raw Meat


WebMD News from HealthDay

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are present in a significant amount of raw meat sold in the United States, according to a Food and Drug Administration report.

Tests conducted by the agency found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 81 percent of raw ground turkey, 69 percent of pork chops, 55 percent of ground beef and 39 percent of chicken, CNN reported.

In addition, there were significant amounts of salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria, which cause millions of cases of food poisoning a year in the U.S. Of the chicken samples tested, 53 percent had an antibiotic-resistant form of E. coli.

In livestock, antibiotics are used to prevent disease and to boost growth. In 2011, nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics were sold for use in meat and poultry, compared with nearly 8 million pounds for human use, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

"Antibiotic use in animals is out of hand," Dr. Gail Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, told CNN. The campaign's goal is to curb the overuse of antibiotics in food production.

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