September 21, 2023

Concern Over Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Soils

A study published in the online journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (56:1434-1443. 2012) found that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are found in agricultural soils. The soils were treated with manure from animals fed sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics. Should consumers be concerned about this study, especially as gardening season approaches? Dr. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, professor of Food Safety Microbiology at the University of Minnesota, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that recommending any action to the consumer based on a single publication is a bit premature. Still, using untreated or raw manure in soils that are used to grow vegetables for human consumption can be dangerous. There is a documented case of a child contracting E. coli 0157:H7 from garden soil recently … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Found in Soil and Water

Two weeks ago, Dr. Margaret Chan, directed general of the World Health Organization, said that antibiotic resistance could "end modern medicine as we know it." Scientists are alarmed by the increase in multi-drug resistant bacteria in recent years. And agricultural use of antibiotics to promote growth in farm animals has been a focus of scientists' concerns for years. A study published in the online journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (56:1434-1443. 2012) has found that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are found in agricultural soils. These are soils that have been treated with manure from animals given sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics. The study looked at four types of soils amended with manure and non-manure amended compost and soil from forests. The bacteria in soils … [Read more...]

Judge Orders FDA to Resume Process of Removing Antibiotics from Animal Feed

Today, a New York District Court judge ruled in favor of the National Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Public Citizen and against the FDA over the matter of antibiotic use in food-producing animals. Food Poisoning Bulletin reported on this issue back in December. At that time, the FDA abandoned the process of withdrawing approval of those drugs in animal feed. The lawsuit was filed in May 2011 to force the FDA to finally follow through on a 1977 process removing growth promoting antibiotics that are routinely put into animal feed. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz granted a summary judgment and denied the FDA's request for a dismissal. The judge ordered the FDA to begin proceedings … [Read more...]

World Health Organization: Antibiotic Resistance Could ‘End Modern Medicine’

Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said at a conference in Copenhagen that antibiotic resistance could "end modern medicine as we know it." Her keynote address was given on March 14, 2012. Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about how the common use of antibiotics in farm animals has created antibiotic-resistant bacteria, that the numbers of foodborne illnesses caused by antibiotic resistance bacteria are increasing, and that the U.S. government has waffled on the issue of restricting their use in animals used for food. Dr. Chan mentioned Denmark's response to this problem as a potential model for other countries. Denmark has a very low domestic antibiotic consumption, and has been proactive in the problem of antibiotic use in … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Foodborne Illness On the Rise In The EU

Cases of foodborne illness in Europe are frequently resistant to antibiotics, according to a new report based on data collected from the 26 European Union member states for 2010. The report, by the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) in Sweden and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Italy, shows that Salmonella and Campylobacter, the main causes of foodborne illness in the EU, are resistant to several antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin. The new report adds weight to what the ECDC has maintained for a number of years: antimicrobial resistance has become a major public health threat in the EU. The ECDC website states “Misuse of antibiotics leads to the emergence and selection of resistant bacteria. Doctors in Europe and worldwide now are sometimes … [Read more...]

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in 2011

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has released a white paper discussing antibiotic-resistant bacteria outbreaks in 2011. That year, 167 people were sickened and 47 were hospitalized. There were three major outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant foodborne illness in 2011. In spring 2011, an outbreak of Salmonella Hadar associated with Jennie-O turkey burgers sickened 12 people in 10 states. The outbreak strain was resistant to ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cephalothin, and tetracycline. In April 2011, 136 people in 34 states were sickened by Cargill ground turkey contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg. The bacteria in that outbreak was resistant to ampicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin. In December 2011, an outbreak of Salmonella … [Read more...]

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter Queries Companies About Antibiotic Use

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sent a letter last week to more than 60 fast food corporations, processors, producers, and grocery chains, asking them about their policies on antibiotic use in farm animals. She would like their response by June 15, 2012. Some of the corporations which received the letter include McDonald's, Kraft, Cargill, Costco, Whole Foods, YUM! Brands, Burger King, and Bon Appetit Management Company. Ms. Slaughter, who is a microbiologist, wants the companies to provide the number of beef, poultry, and pork products that are raised "without antibiotics", with "therapeutic antibiotic doses", and with "routine antibiotic use." She also wants to know if the companies educate their consumers about how their meat is produced and purchased. Her letter states, … [Read more...]

New Study Finds MRSA on Retail Pork Products

A study published in the online journal PLoS ONE has found that the antibiotic-resistant bacteria Staphylococcus aureus is found on pork for sale in grocery stores around the country. In 2010, researchers from the University of Iowa's College of Public Health and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy tested 395 samples of pork from 36 urban and rural grocery stores in Minnesota, Iowa, and New Jersey. Staphylococcus aureus was found on 65% of the samples. And 7% of the pork tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. Pork cutlets were the type of cut most contaminated. Six of the seven positive samples came from the same retail chain, but in two different states. The study author said that they don't know where the pork becomes … [Read more...]

Hannaford Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak Expands Slowly

The hardest hit states in the Hannaford ground beef Salmonella outbreak have been New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The outbreak is noteworthy for a number of reasons, including the facts that Hannaford did not keep detailed records in grinding the hamburger and because the type of Salmonella traced to the meat is resistant to multiple antibiotics. Food poisoning experts who have studied the timeline in the Hannaford ground beef outbreak say it is also similar to past outbreaks where up to three new cases per month are detected through molecular review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By that analysis, the number of people sickened by now could be close to two dozen. The last official update provided by the CDC was January 15, 2012, when there were 19 … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Gain Traction in 2011

Antibiotic resistant pathogens made headlines in 2011 both as the source of major foodborne illness outbreaks and as the poster child for regulatory reform. There were major outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria throughout the world this year: In Germany, an antibiotic resistant strain of E. colisickened 1500 people and killed 18. In the United States, at least four multi state oubreaks that sickened a total of 385 people were caused by antibiotic resistant strains: The Hannaford Salmonella ground beef outbreak. The St. Louis romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak. The Schreiber Processing Kosher broiled chicken liver Salmonellaoutbreak. The Cargill ground turkey Salmonella outbreak. U.S. consumer groups agitated for antibiotic-resistant strains to be … [Read more...]

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