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Caution Needed with Backyard Poultry

Apparently healthy and clean poultry can be carrying Salmonella bacteria.

The U.S. CDC is investigating 10 separate multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections in people who had contact with live poultry from backyard flocks. Almost 1000 people have been sickened, 215 of those required hospitalization. and one person has died. Researchers have isolated at least 10 different strains from those affected.

PositiveTip: Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching chickens and ducks.

Meat and Poultry Harbor Staph

The staphylococcus aureus bacteria (also known as Staph) is a common cause of skin infections in the United States. This germ causes painful, red, swollen boils that drain thick pus. Under some circumstances, Staph can invade deeper into the body and cause infections of internal organs, heart valves, and even death. Staph is increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics and is difficult for doctors to treat.  

Now beef, pork, chicken and turkey in grocery stores have been found to be contaminated with types of Staph which are highly resistant to antibiotics. The Translational Genomics Research Institute cultured 136 meats from 26 grocery stores across five states. A full 47 percent of these meats were contaminated with Staph aureas. 

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Multi-drug Resistant Staph Found in Supermarket Meats

One in four packages of meat and poultry contain multi-drug resistant staph.

Arizona researchers purchased various cuts of meat from supermarkets in five U.S. cities, and found 47% of them contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, a very common pathogen. Surprisingly, 96% of the staph isolates were resistant to at least one common antibiotic, and 52% were resistant to at least three that are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Could the heavy use of antibiotics in farming contribute to these resistant strains?

PositiveTip: Minimize your risk by proper handling of these foods in your kitchen--or avoid them by becoming a vegetarian.

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Poultry Is No. 1 Source of Food Poisoning

Beware: improper handling and cooking of poultry can cause disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has reported that poultry (chicken and turkey) are the leading cause of foodborne illness, and accounted for 17% of food poisoning cases. Beef was close behind at 16%, followed by leafy vegetables at 14%. Most of these foodborne illnesses are preventable by using basic common sense steps for cleaning, storing and cooking.

PositiveTip: Always remember to properly clean, separate, cook, and chill when handling, cooking, and storing foods.