By Betty Murray
That turkey burger you think is so “healthy” could actually make you sick. A recent report from the FDA found that 81 percent of ground turkey tested was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Pork chops, ground beef and chicken were also found to be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause salmonella, E. coli and other various forms of food poisoning. Sixty-nine percent of pork chops, 55 percent of ground beef and 39 percent of chicken tested was contaminated with bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Antibiotics aren’t only used to protect livestock from disease; they are also used to spur growth and compensate for unhygienic conditions. In humans, antibiotics are given to help cure illness; millions of pounds of antibiotics are given to animals every year preventatively. But these antibiotics can also lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Currently, the FDA only suggests guidelines for antibiotic use in meat. The Environmental Working Group is working to change that. “We need to end usage for growth promotion and feed efficiency and think about what we are doing for the long term,” Dawn Undurraga, a nutritionist working with the Environmental Working Group said in this recent CNN article.
A report that was released in April by Consumer Reports found a significant risk of food borne illness from ground turkey. The story reported that:
o More than half of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria.
o Sixty percent of the meat carried E. coli.
o Fifteen percent carried staph.
o Five percent carried Salmonella.
o Ninety percent of samples tested positive for one or more of the five bacteria tested for in the study.
o Bacteria found on organically raised turkey was less likely to be resistant to antibiotics.
If you eat meat, you should be especially cautious of what may be lurking in your food. While cooking the meat can kill most bacteria, meat that carries antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a significant threat to the health of you and your family.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.