Widespread Bacteria Found in US Pork

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 28, 2012 Last Updated: November 28, 2012
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A new analysis has found that U.S. pork chop and ground pork contain significant levels of harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning, as well as low levels of growth hormone.

Consumer Reports, a nonprofit organization that tests product safety, sampled raw pork products in supermarkets across the United States, finding that Yersinia enterocolitica, a food-borne bacterium, was in 69 percent of products. The bacteria can cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pains.

Between 3 and 7 percent of the samples contained salmonella, staphylococcus, and listeria, the analysis found. Eleven percent of samples contained enterococcus.

Furthermore, some bacteria “found in 198 samples [of pork] proved to be resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat people,” suggesting that antibiotics used in pork farming might be increasing the growth of so-called “superbugs,” according to Consumer Reports. 

“That’s worrisome, because if those bugs make you sick, your doctor may need to prescribe more powerful (and expensive) antibiotics,” the organization added.

Around one-fifth of the products sampled contained low levels of ractopamine, a growth hormone used on pigs. The hormone is banned in the European Union and other countries.

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