Bacteria and drugs have been found inside US pork samples. Pork chops and ground pork samples have been found to contain “significant” amounts of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and low levels of a growth hormone. The growth hormone is used to stimulate size in the pigs, according to a Consumer Reports analysis shared on Fox News.
Approximately three to seven percent of the pork samples studied were found to contain salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and listeria monocytogenes. All of the bacteria found are known to cause food-borne illness. The Consumer Reports analysis also notes widespread contamination of the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica was found in the pork samples. The bacteria is known for causing diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Yersinia enterocolitica was reportedly found in 69 percent of the pork samples tested.
An excerpt from the pork reports reads:
“Some of the bacteria we found were resistant to multiple drugs or classes of drugs. That’s worrisome, because if those bugs make you sick, your doctor may need to prescribe more powerful and expensive antibiotics. Some antibiotic claims you’ll see on packaging are misleading. And a ‘no hormones added’ claim might be true but is meaningless, because hormones aren’t allowed in pork production.”
The pork study researchers reportedly feel that the antibiotic-resistant bacteria could be a result of the farming industry’s use of low-dose antibiotics to enhance weight. Such bacteria has been a concern for several years because the “super bugs” cannot be combated by traditional antibiotics.
Ractopamine — which is banned in China, Taiwan, and the European Union — was also found in the pork samples. Ground pork was more likely to contain bacteria than pork chops, according to the Consumer Reports study.