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Report: Pathogens Found in Pork Products

YONKERS, N.Y. —  A Consumer Reports study found strains of harmful bacteria in different cuts of pork.

The investigation, which tested 148 samples of pork chops and 50 samples of ground pork, found the pathogen yersinia enterocolitica in 69% of samples and salmonella, staphylococcus aureus or listeria monocytogenes in 3 to 7% of samples. Chops had fewer bacteria than ground pork.

“Antibiotics are routinely fed to healthy animals at low levels.  This practice promotes the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria which are a major public health concern,” said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, director of safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports, in a statement. “Infections caused by resistant bacteria are more difficult to treat and can lead to increased suffering and costs.”

Consumer Reports also said that 11% of the samples had Enterococcus, a bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections.

One fifth of 240 separate samples contained low levels of Ractopamine, a legal drug used to make pigs lean. The Consumer Union said the drug is illegal in China, Tawain and the European Union.

The different bacteria the group found was most often resistant to one form of antibiotics.

The report is a continuation of Consumer Reports’ Meat on Drugs campaign against meat raised with antibiotics. Earlier this fall, SN reported on an event where the Consumers Union delivered a petition to Trader Joe's

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