Consumer Reports Finds Widespread Pork Threat

Study cites bacteria, antibiotic danger

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 27, 2012 7:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Much of the US pork supply is tainted with dangerous bacteria, and the antibiotics given to pigs could be boosting drug-resistant germs, a Consumer Reports study finds. Some 69% of 198 tested pork samples contained bacteria called yersinia enterocolitica, which can cause fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Some 3% to 7% of samples contained certain other causes of food-borne disease, including salmonella, while 11% contained a germ linked to urinary tract infections. Some of these bacteria were drug-resistant. Meanwhile, a fifth of 240 pork products tested separately contained ractopamine, a growth drug that's banned in the EU, China, and Taiwan, though legal here.

In this March 3, 2011 file photo, meat department manager Kevin Morlan arranges packages of pork at a local grocery store in Des Moines, Iowa.
In this March 3, 2011 file photo, meat department manager Kevin Morlan arranges packages of pork at a local grocery store in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
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