Author Name: StartRight
Finding pure and uncontaminated food in this era is a bliss. But what does one eat that doesn’t affect their health??
Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics that should destroy them, are often known as ‘superbugs’. Antibiotics are given to animals to treat infections or in farm animal feed to promote growth and prevent infection in high mass production. When farmers give animals antibiotics readily, their body develops drug-resistance bacteria. This bacteria gets passed to humans by meat.
Most common superbugs are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C.Diff). These species are difficult to treat because they have an extra outer membrane that shields them from the drugs.
Clostridioides difficile, also known as C. difficile or C. diff. is a bacterium that causes many symptoms ranging from diarrhoea to the inflammation (swelling) of the colon. The infection usually spreads through unhygienic slaughter of infected animals or their faeces. This mostly affects the elderly who are in hospitals or health care facilities for longer periods of time.
Pig-derived C.diff. is the most deadly because the same human strain that’s increasingly emerging in the community outside of hospitals is the major strain among pigs. Contamination of pigs by superbugs such as C. difficile and MRSA at the farm production level is immense. Farmers would rather give the animals higher doses of antibiotics if an outbreak spreads, than provide spacious and hygienic conditions.
Most food safety guidelines recommend cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145°F, which is the official USDA recommendation for pork. But recent studies show that C. diff spores can survive heating at 174°F, therefore caution is recommended while using meat these days.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is genetically distinct from other strains of Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. The disease can cause painful skin infections. In some cases, MRSA can infect other parts of the body and cause life-threatening conditions, including sepsis.
According to a 2007 study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, there were about 11,400 deaths related to Staphylococcus aureus infection, of which about 6,600 were MRSA-related in 2005. Approximately 5% of patients in U.S. hospitals carry MRSA in their nose or on their skin.
For healthy people with strong immune systems, this bacteria may not be harmful. They can be carriers and infect other people with weak immune systems or underlying health conditions. This could spread by simple contact.
MRSA present in retail meat can be a major spread cause. It spreads to the food industry and to our homes. Contaminating our surfaces, cuttings boards, knives and whatever it comes in contact with. Making us more prone to getting infected by this bacteria.
It is advised to wash your hands repetitively and thoroughly after cleaning meat.
Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat to health and food security, according to the World Health Organization. Research and testings show that antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found on 62 per cent of ground beef; 79 per cent of ground turkey samples tested; 71 per cent of pork chops; and 36 per cent of chicken breasts, wings and thighs.
According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental research organization, nearly 80 per cent of meat in U.S. supermarkets contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More than two million people fall sick every year with antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States, with at least 23,000 dying as a result.
Pathogens from the animals are harmful to the human gut. The medicine we have to take in order to get rid of these bacteria also destroy the ‘good’ bacteria in our digestive system which aids in the breaking down of food and fats.
When farm animals are given drugs in the form of antibiotics or growth promoting feed, it has diverse effects. It affects every one of us. Farmers should be reluctant to use drug overdose until scientists come up with an alternative to antibiotics. Until then we all can stay precautious and focus on a more vegetative diet. No one has to go full-on vegan, but moving towards a more plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of meat-related diseases. Besides, fruits, vegetables and green plants provide numerous health benefits to our body. They are full of essential minerals and vitamins, which make the body strong.