retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Consumer Reports, in its January 2013 edition, has a piece saying that its "analysis of pork-chop and ground-pork samples from around the U.S. found that yersinia enterocolitica, a bacterium that can cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, was widespread. Some samples harbored other potentially harmful bacteria, including salmonella."

In addition, the story says, "Some of the bacteria we found in 198 samples proved to be resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat people. The frequent use of low-dose antibiotics in pork farming may be accelerating the growth of drug-resistant 'superbugs' that threaten human health.

The story says:

• "About one-fifth of the 240 pork products we analyzed in a separate test harbored low levels of the drug ractopamine, which the U.S. approved in 1999 to promote growth and leanness in pigs."

• "Yersinia enterocolitica was in 69 percent of the tested pork samples. It infects about 100,000 Americans a year, especially children. We found salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, or listeria monocytogenes, more common causes of foodborne illness, in 3 to 7 percent of samples. And 11 percent harbored enterococcus, which can indicate fecal contamination and can cause problems such as urinary-tract infections."

• "Ground pork was more likely than pork chops to harbor pathogens."
KC's View:
Man, it seems like I can't eat anything anymore.