Drug Resistant Bacteria Found in 25% of Meat Samples
Drug Resistant Bacteria Found in 25% of Meat Samples April 15, 2011
You may have heard or read about the recent study that found drug resistant "superbug" bacteria present in 25% of meat sampled in five different cities. Non-resistant staph bacteria were found in nearly half of the samples, which isn't terribly shocking since it occurs naturally in the environment and many people carry it in or on their bodies every day without becoming ill. Drug resistant staph, on the other hand is both more rare and more dangerous - if a person is infected with this bacteria, many common antibiotics won't be able to fight it. That's pretty scary stuff. Experts recommend washing hands thoroughly after touching raw meat, and cooking the meat you consume thoroughly.
Ground beef is a common source of food borne pathogens, since it is usually made from small pieces of meat and trimmings with plenty of exposed surfaces for bacteria to cling to. Then the ground beef itself has tons of surface area that allow bacteria to climb aboard. If you like your hamburgers medium rare, you're at greater risk since those pathogens can possibly survive a less-than-thorough cooking. To enjoy burgers with the maximum food safety, you should use a meat thermometer and cook your burgers to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees. You might not get that perfect juicy medium rare burger you love, but you also won't get food poisoning.
Another way to make sure your burgers are the safest they can be is to grind your own meat. Larger cuts of meat like steaks and roasts have less exposed bacteria-friendly surface area, plus they go through fewer steps of processing, allowing fewer opportunities for contamination. If you spend a little more to get your meat from a butcher rather than a grocery store, it will be even safer since most reputable butchers know exactly where their meat comes from and choose slaughterhouses and suppliers with high safety standards, knowing that any food borne illnesses will land at their doorstep first.
So keep your family safe from superbugs this summer by grinding your own meat for cookout burgers. Not only will they be less likely to cause food poisoning, they'll also taste a whole lot better since you've chosen your own quality cuts of lean beef and left out the fillers that are added to many mass produced ground beef products!