MRSA Contaminates 11 Per Cent of Meat

NETHERLANDS - The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) says it has found that 11 per cent of meat products in the retail sector are contaminated with the hospital bacteria MRSA. The statement is based on a recent study carried out by the authority.
calendar icon 5 March 2008
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Reports in the Dutch meat industry press, including journal Pig Progress, say that in 84 per cent of the cases, non-typable MRSA, which affects pigs, calves and livestock farmers is present.

According to the Authority, meat does not contribute to the spread of the bacteria, which is resistant to most antibiotics. However, nt-MRSA can be spread where livestock is kept. Surprisingly, most nt-MRSA is found in turkey and chicken (31 and 27 per cent respectively). With live animals, the bacteria is only found in pigs and calves.

"The figures also surprised me. My first thoughts were that it can be spread through processing," said MRSA-specialist, Arie van Nes, from the Faculty of Animal Health in Utrecht.

MRSA has not been found in live poultry yet. The animal health authority has confirmed that 50 per cent of animals on pig farms are infected with the bacteria.

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Further Reading

- To view research on MRSA in the Netherlands click here.
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