24% Of Supermarket Chickens ‘Test Positive For E.coli’
Just under a quarter of chicken samples from supermarkets in the UK have tested positive for a form of E.coli which is resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics, with 24 per cent of those tested found to show traces of ESBL E.coli.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge and the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics (ASA), the study found that approximately 51 per cent of the E.coli found in both poultry and pork samples were resistant to trimethoprim, used to treat urinary tract infections, while 19 per cent were found to be resistant to an antibiotic used to treat more serious upper urinary tract infections, FG Insight reports.
ASA campaigns officer Emma Rose said that the results show that overuse of antibiotics in the farming industry in the UK is most likely undermining the treatment of blood poisoning and urinary tract infections caused by E.coli in humans, with some of the antibiotics being used in much larger quantities in livestock than in medicine for people.
“These findings show the level of antibiotic resistance on retail meat to be worse than expected. Supermarkets must now publicly commit to policies which prohibit the routine for mass-medication of groups of healthy animals and take immediate steps to reduce farm use of the critically important drugs,” she was quoted by the news source as saying.
According to the ASA, the way antibiotics are being abused is actually undermining the way they can be used to treat infection and disease. In the UK, about 10,000 people die every year because of antibiotic resistance illnesses and it’s thought that by the year 2025, such diseases could actually cause a million deaths across Europe – which means that there must be a step change in the UK’s farming model, prioritising housing, husbandry and good hygiene to reduce the need for antibiotics in the first place.
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