The Internet is overflowing with information about the resistant E. coli bacteria found in some patients experiencing UTI and its possible linkage to supermarket meats.
This story has the potential to make a splash since most of us eat meat and we buy it in supermarkets.
But let’s look at the facts, reported in the video, which served as the main source for hundreds of articles on this topic.
What do we know about the connection between farm animals and UTI?
- We know that farmers routinely use antibiotics to control disease among “food animals”.
- Scientists have been looking into the linkage between the antibiotic resistant bacterias and the antibiotics used for preventing disease in animals but this connection is tough to prove scientifically.
- There are more and more patients with UTI who appear to have a drug-resistant E. coli. As you know, if E-coli goes untreated it could turn into sepsis. So it’s a pretty serious concern if a UTI couldn’t be treated the right way with known drugs.
- A team of researchers from Arizona is testing samples of various meats from the local supermarkets. They also took samples of the bacteria from patients presenting to the local hospital with UTI.
- They are an only halfway through the study, but already found that there were about 25 cases when the drug-resistant bacteria presented on the meat bought in a regular supermarket was also a cause for a drug-resistant UTI in a human.
The CDC officially acknowledges the challenge to trace bacteria from animals to sick people.
What is the conclusion? Better to be safe than sorry! Buy yourself a cooking thermometer and promote safe food handling practices in the kitchen.
- Cooking Whole Cuts of Pork: The USDA has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 ºF to 145 ºF with the addition of a three-minute rest time. Cook pork, roasts and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality — juicy and tender.
- Cooking Whole Cuts of Other Meats: For beef, veal and lamb cuts, the safe temperature remains unchanged at 145 ºF, but the department has added a three-minute rest time as part of its cooking recommendations.
- Do not rinse raw chicken before cooking. Contrary to a popular belief, you could cause more harm than good if rinsing raw chicken meat before cooking. Water splashes will carry the bacteria on all surfaces around the sink and are guaranteed to end up on your utensil, kitchen surface, and other food items around.
Make sure to always wash your hands after handling raw meat. Also, use separate utensils for cooking meat.
Other than that? Maybe it’s time to think about that vegetarian diet again?
Are you supporting affordable meat or would you rather see prices rising, but safer farming practices reinforced? Do you have an opinion on the topic? Please share in comments below.