(PatriotWise.com) — Researchers in Spain have discovered that 40% of meat products contain multidrug-resistant E. coli strains. The so-called “superbug” was found in beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. E.coli can cause severe illness, and scientists claim drug-resistant infections kill 700,000 people every year. The World Health Organization says it is one of the world’s most dangerous health concerns.
The Spanish research team analyzed 100 meat products chosen from random supermarkets. They found that 40 out of the 100 contained multidrug-resistant E. coli. The highest level was found in turkey, followed by chicken. The scientists said that the slaughter process is likely to be what causes meat from these animals to be less safe than pork or beef.
A study in 2019 on how coronavirus spreads found that meatpacking plants played a large part. A team from the University of California-Davis said that 334,000 cases across the country were directly attributable to how their food is packaged. In addition, they found that residents of counties with a high number of meatpacking plants were far more likely to become infected.
The cause of this is not entirely understood, but Peta, a group that campaigns for the ethical treatment of animals, says that slaughterhouse workers are in regular contact with animal feces, urine, and blood, and this is a breeding ground for infection. The group says disease spreads via two primary means: consuming infected animals and contact with meat production workers.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says 1 in every 6 Americans become ill each year from contaminated animal-related food. The most common foodborne pathogens include salmonella, campylobacter, yersinia, E. coli, and listeria. Peta says populations that live in agricultural areas are at high risk of disease outbreaks. “One study found that when factory-farm workers or others working with animals comprised between 15% and 45% of a community, human influenza cases increased by a whopping 42% to 86%,” the organization claims. It encourages people to stop eating meat to control disease and end the mistreatment of animals.
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