Multidrug-resistant meat contaminations spoil holiday meals; prompt recalls

Tyson recalls 41,000 pounds of ground beef; Hannaford nearly all

By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom

Per the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, on Dec. 20, Tyson Meats, Inc. recalled 41,000 pounds of its ground beef from 16 states, suspecting an E. coli O157:H7 contamination.  Last week, Hannaford Stores, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, recalled an unspecified amount of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a multidrug resistant strain of Salmonella Typhimurium.

The Tyson products may be packaged under different brand names, per FSIS. Full list here [pdf].  Tyson’s products subject to recall have a “BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY” date of “11/13/11” and “EST. 245C” on the box label. The products were shipped to institutions and distributors in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Hannaford’s various ground beef packages bear sell-by or freeze-by dates of Dec. 17, 2011 or earlier and were sold at Hannaford stores throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Food safety authorities identified a link between the Hannaford ground beef products and an illness outbreak of 14 people, seven of whom were hospitalized. Ten reported purchasing ground beef at Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont between Oct. 12 and Nov. 20.

The outbreak strain of S. Typhimurium has initially tested resistant to multiple commonly prescribed antibiotics, including drug classes such as beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporins.

Based on an examination of Hannaford’s limited records, FSIS was unable to determine responsible suppliers and is now contemplating new rules to address this.

In April 2011, the Centers for Disease Control began investigating an outbreak of S. Typhimurium involving 73 people in 35 states. One person died. The outbreak is possibly linked to those exposed to clinical and teaching microbiology labs. Infected individuals ranged in age from less than 1 year to 91 years-old.

In Summer 2011, Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of turkey, and then another 185,000 pounds six weeks later for Salmonella Heidelberg contamination.  S. Heidelberg is resistant to multiple drugs, including ampicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamycin.

In November, Martha Rosenberg reported that “half of U.S. meat from major grocery chains–turkey, beef, chicken and pork–harbors antibiotic resistant staph germs commonly called MRSA. Turkey had twice and even three times the MRSA of all other meats, in another study.

E. coli O157:H7 is also multi-drug resistant, most especially in beef. Both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium infections can be life-threatening to infants, young children, the elderly, and immuno-compromised people.

Antibiotic resistance has developed because the Food and Drug Administration, among other federal agencies, allows the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal feed and supports broad-spectrum bactericides for use in humans. While providing a nice profit margin for the drug industry, the lack of appropriate regulation is deadly for humans and farm animals.

A recent article in the Journal of Food Safety reported that plant extracts can be potent biopreservatives for Salmonella Typhimurium control and quality enhancement in ground beef. Researchers found that mixing pomegranate peel extract or cinnamon bark extract with ground beef “resulted in a sharp reduction in bacterial cell counts during storage period for 7 days.” They concluded:

“In addition to their economical and health promoting benefits, the application of plant extracts, as natural and safe biopreservatives, could be highly recommended for the improvement of microbiological and sensory quality of ground beef.”

12 responses to “Multidrug-resistant meat contaminations spoil holiday meals; prompt recalls

  1. Great article Rady, I hope they wake-up and start using herbal extracts?

    The industry and government are working their way up to the big time die off. Then during the media drama they will bring out the new mandatory vaccine that is supposed to allow us to eat E. coli without without holding our noses.

    Do you wonder where the 36,226,000 pounds of recalled meat went? Usually it ends up at the rendering plants, along with road kills, veterinarian deaths and downers from the dairy industry etc. now that is a horrific image. And get this, from there it ends up in cosmetics (gad), pharmaceutical drugs (oh, that’s a good one), feed for farm poultry (mad chickens and turkeys at Elmer’s, hmm) gelatin (from the skin and bones, sorry, that’s in our food folks look at the labels) and pet food (mad cats and dogs, naaa, well I hope not)???

    There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings. Dorothy Thompson

    Doc Blake

    • wasn’t that interesting from the Journal of Food Safety? the best in life needs no processing or DNA-rearranging, eh?

      omg, no I did not know what they did with that recalled turkey. that’s worthy of its own article

  2. “We need to get our head out of the sand and start taking public health advice from scientists rather than industry lobbyists.”

    Slaughter Responds to FDA Decision Regarding Antibiotic Use in Livestock

    • what a great piece she wrote — what a condemnation of our corporate sponsored government

      “We need to get our head out of the sand and start taking public health advice from scientists rather than industry lobbyists.”

      WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and the only microbiologist in Congress, today responded to the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it is withdrawing proposals to remove approvals for two antibiotics used in livestock feed. The announcement comes a week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture recalled meat contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella.

      “Every year, 100,000 Americans die from bacterial infections acquired in the hospital and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Slaughter. “Seventy percent of these infections are resistant to drugs commonly used to treat them. I wonder how many lives could have been saved if these proposals were adopted in 1977 as they should have been. We need to get our head out of the sand and start taking public health advice from scientists rather than industry lobbyists.”

      The FDA initially proposed withdrawing approval for penicillins and tetracyclines used in livestock feed in 1977 due to the scientific evidence indicating that feeding these antibiotics to animals for purposes other than disease treatment creates an unacceptable risk to the public. According to the World Health Organization, scientific studies have shown that antibiotic use in animals results in “infections that would not have otherwise occurred, increased frequency of treatment failures (in some cases death) and increased severity of infections.”

      Since 2007, Congresswoman Slaughter has been the author of legislation titled The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), designed to ensure that we preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for the treatment of human disease. More information on PAMTA, including a list of the more than 300 organizations who have endorsed Slaughter’s legislation is available here.

      This week, Slaughter authored an Op-Ed in the Huffington Post titled “What’s in Your Christmas Ham?,” which is available here.

      Last week, Slaughter hosted a briefing where farmers and successful businesses extolled the benefits of tapping into the growing domestic and international demand for antibiotic-free meat. She was joined by an impressive panel made up of Chipotle CEO Steve Ells, Chairman of one of the nation’s fastest growing restaurant companies, along with Stephen McDonnell, CEO of award-winning Applegate Farms, and Paul Willis, President of Niman Ranch, a network of over 676 independent sustainable farms.

  3. Interesting article. But what has happened to this site, Before y’all had tons of new stuff every day. I checked this ssite several times a day and it was one of my top 2 or 3 ssites. But now, things appear at a snail’s pace.

  4. I don’t have any money……but you should go on the Alex JOnes show. Money would likely come in. I think I remember hearing him mention this site at one point as a site that was doing a lot to promote libertty.

    I hope I did not sound critical. I did not know you were doing this yourself. I just assumed y’all were a big media outfit.

    • nah, Food Freedom’s a voluntary labor of love, patrick. We have a crew of writers who submit work, but that still requires my time as an editor/fact-checker, and load up time. We’re all a little burnt out right now.

      yes, AJ has promoted this site and has posted many of my articles. But broadcasting is a whole different genre from writing and website development; it requires talents and skills I don’t have. I’ll leave that end of info-dissemination to those with the knack for it. But I will have to do interviews when I finally finish this book I’m working on… self-promotion becomes a matter of survival at that point. 😉

  5. Great article!
    An important aspect is also the genetically modified seed like rice, soya, corn and other plant.
    I think that this seed appears because of the increase of the population, because the harvesting is bigger.

  6. What great information! I put a link to this article in my blog post today.

  7. Pingback: Multidrug-resistant meat contaminations spoil holiday meals; prompt recalls

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