Kristine Lofgren

Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found in Food Products for the First Time

by , 06/12/14
filed under: News, Sustainable Food

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been haunting the halls of hospitals for years, but unless you were in a health care setting, you didn’t have to worry too much about coming in contact with superbugs. But that could all change – researchers just discovered antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a food product for the first time ever, meaning that the risk of coming in contact with the pathogens could be rising.

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Researchers in Canada found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in raw squid, according to a report published this week. If food-borne superbugs become common, they could present a threat to the average consumer. The discovery is particularly disturbing because if the bacteria get into your body, they could share the antibiotic-resistant gene with other bacteria and spread.

Related: Minnesota is the First State to Ban the Anti-Bacterial Chemical Triclosan

Scientists caution that the bacteria found in the squid wouldn’t make a healthy person sick, and fully cooking food kills the bacteria. The real danger is the spread of antibiotic resistance. Although drug-resistance monitoring programs are in place in the US and Canada for poultry, beef and pork, there is no monitoring of niche-market meats or imported seafood.

Experts warn that of the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are resistant to even last-resort antibiotics like carbapenems. If we lose our ability to fight bacteria with our strongest line of defense, we could face completely untreatable infections in the future.

Via the Washington Post

Lead image via Shutterstock, image via Brian Suda

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