Mass-Produced Meat and Chicken Contaminated with MRSA Superbug
Monday, April 18, 2011
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Big Agribusiness animal farms, which steadily poison the meat and poultry they produce with antibiotics under the pretense of food safety, have massively infected the animals with Staphylococcus aureus1 (47 percent of meat and poultry recently tested). 52% of that is the nasty form of Staphylococcus that is resistant to antibiotics (MRSA superbugs). In other words, the garbage-quality food industry has unleashed highly infected meat on the U.S. consumer. This not only poses problems for serious food-born illness, it is a likely factor involved with the obesity epidemic.
Researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples – covering 80 brands – of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff and Washington, D.C. “The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today,” Lance B. Price, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Director of TGen’s Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health.
In most cases cooking will kill this bacteria. However, cross contamination during food preparation is a major concern. For example, if you buy food at a fast food restaurant, the cook touches the contaminated meat and throws it on the grill and cooks it. Meanwhile he touches buns and other items that are not cooked and spreads the germs to them. One would have to be very careful even at home to not get cross contamination.
Your options are to become a vegetarian or to only buy high quality meat and poultry that is raised without antibiotics. There is a cottage industry devoted to raising healthy animals for food consumption.
If you do get MRSA infection from food it will not likely show up as the more commonly understood skin infection. Rather, it will be an internal infection most likely related to pneumonia. Therefore, respiratory presentation may be your symptoms rather than the typical diarrhea of food poisoning. This type of infection generates large amounts of toxins which will make you feel really sick with horrible headaches or body aches. Such severe infections could significantly harm or even kill infants, children or the elderly.
Another important aspect of this is low-grade infection of your digestive tract with Staphylococcus aureus which disrupts the balance of friendly flora in your digestive tract. This is not the same as an acute illness and may not involve the MRSA form at all. Tests on pregnant women3 have found excessive levels of Staphylococcus in their digestive tracts in direct proportion to how overweight they were at the start of pregnancy. This problem is also a factor in excess weight gain4 during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the Staphylococcus overgrowth is passed on to their child5, setting the stage for future obesity. Thankfully, taking friendly flora can help this problem and prevent weight gain.
In my previous article, How Digestive Problems Prevent Weight Loss, I explain how toxic LPS coming from imbalanced digestive bacteria is a major stumbling block for weight loss for most people who are overweight and can’t lose weight with a reasonable weight-loss effort. Staphylococcus aureus is a gram positive bacterium, so it does not produce toxic LPS. Rather it produces a wide variety of other highly toxic compounds such as superantigens, enterotoxins, alpha toxins, beta toxins, and delta toxins. Thus, the levels of Staphylococcus found in overweight people are capable of a low-grade poisoning of metabolism consistent with the toxic LPS of gram negative bacteria. An animal study shows that Staphylococcus can impair beta cell function of the pancreas, inducing insulin resistance6. This could help cause either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
This new study exposes a major public health issue and focuses the blame on the fast-food animal production business with its long history of animal abuse and production of sickly animals with compromised immune systems. Please note the FDA and USDA were too incompetent to discover this problem – which simply required looking. Their “solution” will be to force dangerous irradiation of the food supply on everyone – including those who produce high quality meat and poultry that is not prone to such infection. As Americans are coming to realize, government and its regulators are seldom willing to address the source of any problem when those committing the offense pay lawmakers through their lobbies and offer jobs to regulators for “doing a good job” of protecting their perverse vested interests. The stench runs far deeper than the infected animals.
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