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. 

Germs that can make humans sick come from animals treated with antibiotics in their feed to try to keep them in good health. Antibiotic resistance comes from long term exposure to antibiotics. 

Cooking meat to at least 165 degrees will kill most organisms. Care must be taken when handling raw meats, as this can transfer germs into small cuts or open pores in the skin. This can cause infection by germs highly resistant to antibiotics. 

The increasing risk associated with meat eating was recognized more than a century ago by Ellen White, a 19th century health reformer. She wrote, “Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating.” (Ministry of Healing, 313)

And also, “If meat eating was ever healthful, it is not safe now.” (The Faith I Live By, 230)




Dr. Adams is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine. His MPH is from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Adams is retired from the position of Medical Director of Tarrant County Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the developer of the Best Weigh nutrition and weight loss program. He is also the author of the Handbook of Health Evangelism and Jesus Was Thin: So You Can Be Thin Too.