women

What’s In That Pork? (part 2)

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

What you can do

·         These steps can help you minimize the risk of foodborne illness or discourage the routine use of antibiotics in agriculture:

·         When cooking pork, use a meat thermometer to ensure that it reaches the proper internal temperature, which kills potentially harmful bacteria: at least 1450F for whole pork and 1600F for ground pork.

 Keep uncooked pork away from other foods

Keep uncooked pork away from other foods

·         As with other meats, keep raw pork and its juices separate from other foods, especially those eaten raw, such as salad.

·         Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat

·         Choose pork and other meat products that were raised without drugs. One way to do that is to buy certified organic pork, from pigs raised without antibiotics or ractopamine. Another option is to buy from Whole Foods, which requires that producers not use either type of drug.

·         Look for a clear statement regarding antibiotics use. “No antibiotics used” claims with a USDA Process Verified shield are more reliable than those without verification. Labels such as “Animal Welfare Approved” and “Certified Humane” indicate the prudent use of antibiotics to treat illness.

·         Watch out for misleading labels. “Natural” has nothing to do with antibiotic use or how an animal was raised. We found unapproved claims, including “no antibiotics residues,” on packages of Sprouts pork sold in Californian and Arizona, and “no antibiotic growth promotions” on Farmland brand pork sold in several states. We reported those to the USDA in June 2012, and the agency told us it’s working with those companies to take “appropriate actions”. When we checked in early November, Sprouts had removed the claim from its packages.

·         If your local supermarket doesn’t carry pork from pigs raised without antibiotics, consider asking the store to carry it. To find meat from animals that was raised sustainably – humanely and without drugs- go to eatwellguide.org. To learn about the new Consumers Union campaign aimed at getting stores to sell only antibiotic-free meat, go to NotinMyFood.org.

Did you know?

Years ago, trichinosis was the main fear about eating pork. But the risk from that parasite was largely eradicated by changes in industry practices (legislation banned the feeding of certain raw foods to hogs) and public awareness of the risks of eating undercooked meat.

 The risk from that parasite was largely eradicated by changes in industry practices and public awareness of the risks of eating undercooked meat.

The risk from that parasite was largely eradicated by changes in industry practices and public awareness of the risks of eating undercooked meat.

Germ count

Per-capita consumption of pork in the U.S. is about 50 pounds per year, based on 2009 Department of Agriculture data.

We tested 148 samples of meat from pork chops and 50 from ground pork, and found that almost 70 percent tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica, which can infect people who eat raw or undercooked pork.

 We tested 148 samples of meat from pork chops and 50 from ground pork, and found that almost 70 percent tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica

We tested 148 samples of meat from pork chops and 50 from ground pork, and found that almost 70 percent tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica

Enterococcus, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, and listeria monocytogenes were less common in the samples we tested. Twenty-three percent of the samples harbored none of the tested bacteria.

The pork samples we analyzed came from many brands, but we lacked enough samples within each brand to say whether one was more or less contaminated than another.

Levels of contamination

Bacterium

Samples testing positive

Yersinia enterocolitica

69%

Enterococcus

11

Staphylococcus aureus

7

Salmonella

4

Listeria monocytogenes

3

Big brands we tested:

Denmark, Farmer, John, Farmer John California Natural, Farmland, Hempler’s, Hormel, Hormel Natrual Choice, Nature’s Promise, Nature’s Rancher, Northwest finest, Roseland, Smithfield, Swift Premium, and Tender Choice

Store brands we tested

Angelo Caputo’s, Bashas’, Bristol Farms, Butera, Dominick’s, Edmar, El Toreo Market, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fresh & Easy, The Fresh Market, Giant, Meijer, PCC Natural Markets, Publix, Ralphs, Safeway, Save-a-lot, Sprouts Farmers Market and Farmers Market Old Tyme, Ultra Foods, Viet Wah, Vons, Wal-Mart, Wegmans, Weis, Whole Foods, and Winn Dixie.

How resistant to antibiotics?

Some antibiotics used to treat infections in people are also fed to pigs to speed their growth or prevent illness. But bacteria may evolve to become immune to antibiotics, at which point the drugs become less effective in treating people infected by those bugs. We tested whether samples of salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, enterococcus, and Yersinia enterrocolitica that we isolated from pork chops and ground pork could survice exposure to up to 13 antibiotics at levels that are usually effective agaiingst those bacteria. The antibiotics we used differed with each bug but included amoxicillin, penicillin, tetracycline, streptomycin, and others.

Bugs immune to drugs

Bacterium

Samples tested

Sample resistant to one or more antibiotics

Details

Yersinia enterocolitica

132

121

Fifty-two of those were resistant to two or three antibiotics

Stayphylococcus aureus

14

13

Nine of those were resistant to two to four antibiotics

Enterococcus

19

12

 

Salmonella

8

6

Three of those were resistant to five antibiotics

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