BUYER BEWARE

Study: Half of U.S. Meat Infected

A new study suggests that nearly half of the meat and poultry sold at U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores contains a type of bacteria that is potentially harmful to humans. Researchers tested 136 packages of chicken, turkey, pork, and ground beef purchased at 26 grocery stores in five cities across the country and found that roughly 50 percent contained staph (S. aureus), which commonly causes infection when consumed. To make things worse, half of the infected samples contained strains of bacteria that were resistant to at least three antibiotics, including penicillin and tetracycline. The meat industry has pushed back against the study, saying that staph bacteria usually only affect people with damaged immune systems.