Most grocery store meat contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria: 4 things to know

Every year the federal government tests meat from U.S. supermarkets across the country, monitoring bacterial contamination and resistance trends. This year's findings show an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to an analysis from the Environmental Working Group.

For the analysis, EWG examined data on more than 47,000 federal lab tests of supermarket meat in 2015, the most recent year with available data.

Here are the four things to know:

1. Researchers found a majority of the tested supermarket meat in 2015 contained antibiotic-resistant enterococcus faecalis bacteria, including 79 percent of ground turkey samples, 71 percent of pork chop samples, 62 percent of ground beef samples and 36 percent  of chicken samples.

2. A majority (84 percent) of the E. faecalis found on pork in 2015 was resistant to tetracyclines — the most common class of antibiotics used in livestock — along with 71 percent of E. faecalis found on chicken and 26 percent identified on beef. 

3. EWG also uncover, from the last five years of data, roughly one in five strains of salmonella found on supermarket chicken were resistant to amoxicillin. Penicillins are the second most used type of antibiotic in livestock.    

In 2013, the FDA rolled out a guidance to reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics in livestock. However, livestock producers continue to give high amounts of antibiotics to already healthy animals to overcompensate for stressful, crowded or unsanitary living environments, according to EWG.

More articles on clinical leaderhip and infection control: 

Texas Natural Meats recalling 500 pounds of beef due to E. coli
Pizza Hut vows to phase out antibiotic use in chickens by 2022
How executives are rethinking quality initiatives to improve proper antibiotic use: 4 insights

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