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Report finds 69% of pork contaminated with bacteria Print
An analysis in the January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine revealed 69% of pork chops and ground pork that the organization sampled from around the U.S. tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica, a bacteria that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can result in fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Consumer Reports also found 3-7% of the samples harbored salmonella, staphylococcus aureus or listeria monocytogenes, other common pathogens for foodborne illness. Twenty-three percent of the samples contained none of the tested bacteria.
The sampling also claims that some of the bacteria were resistant to typical antibiotics that are used to treat foodborne illnesses, such as amoxicillin, penicillin, tetracycline and streptomycin. Of the 132 samples with Yersinia enterocolitica, 121 of those were resistant to one or more antibiotics.
In a separate Consumer Reports sampling, one-fifth of 240 pork products contained traces of ractopamine, a controversial veterinary drug that promotes both growth and leanness in farm animals. Ractopamine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999 for hogs, but it is banned in approximately 160 other countries - including China and the European Union.
The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans each year contract a foodborne illness. To prevent Y. enterocolitica infections, the federal agency recommends the following steps:
  1. Avoid eating raw or undercooked pork.
  2. Consume only pasteurized milk or milk products.
  3. Wash hands with soap and water before eating and preparing food, after contact with animals, and after handling raw meat.
  4. After handling raw chitterlings, clean hands and fingernails scrupulously with soap and water before touching infants or their toys, bottles, or pacifiers. Someone other than the food handler should care for children while chitterlings are being prepared.
  5. Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen: Use separate cutting boards for meat and other foods. Carefully clean all cutting boards, counter-tops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw meat.
  6. Dispose of animal feces in a sanitary manner.
SANHA Comments:
We have one recommendation, not six, ?[Allāh] has forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine."[an-Naḥl: 115]
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