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E. coli found on 24% of chicken from seven UK chain stores

E. coli

(NaturalNews) One in four chicken products bought in the UK contains killer antibiotic-resistant E. coli bacteria, according to Cambridge University research. The superbug was found in poultry samples taken from top grocery chains ASDA, Aldi, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

The bug can cause serious issues, including urinary tract infections, blood poisoning and kidney failure. In severe cases, or when all antibiotics fail, it can even lead to death.

According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 2 million people in the United States become infected with some superbug each year, and about 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections.

The safety of fresh meat

The scientists analyzed products such as whole roasting chickens, packs of legs, thighs and drumsticks, as well as diced breast meat. Of the 92 chicken samples tested, 22 contained detectable levels of ESBL E. coli, which is resistant to the vitally important cephalosporin antibiotic.

The study also found that 51 percent of E. coli from pork and poultry samples was resistant to the antibiotic trimethoprim, which is used to treat lower urinary tract infections. Furthermore, 19 percent of the bacteria were also resistant to another life-saving antibiotic, gentamicin, used to treat more severe cases of upper urinary tract infections.

In total, the researchers analyzed 174 pork and chicken samples collected from stores across England, and another 15 from stores in Scotland. Dr. Mark Holmes, reader in microbial genomics and veterinary science at the University of Cambridge, told the Daily Mail that the levels of resistant E. coli they found are worrying.

People are not only at risk of blood poisoning or urinary tract infections when they fall ill, but they also risk being infected with a superbug that cannot be treated with modern medicine and can spin out of control. These out-of-control situations can be lethal.

Join Natural News founder and editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, on his quest to send an unforgettable message to Big Food that says, "We demand food transparency, honest ingredients and clean food!"

Need for stricter antibiotic regulations

According to Dr. Holmes, insufficient resources are being put into the surveillance of antibiotic resistance in farm animals and the meat sold at grocery stores. The study results highlight the need for improved antibiotic regulations and control in veterinary medicine.

The study was commissioned by the campaign group Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, which unites health, medical, environmental and animal welfare groups such as the Soil Association, Compassion in World Farming and Sustain.

Its scientific adviser, Coilin Nunan, noted that the findings should be a wake-up call for supermarkets and the government, as many consumers are exposed to high levels of antibiotic resistance at every meal.

"E.coli is now killing more than twice as many people as MRSA and Clostridium difficile combined, so the price of any further inaction will be measured in human lives," Nunan told Daily Mail.

To be safe, families are advised to handle uncooked meat carefully, and to wash hands after contact with raw meat. Also, make sure that meat is thoroughly cooked before being consumed. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends cooking pork to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and chicken to a minimum of 160 degrees.

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