Health hazard: turkey meat with germs

Health hazard: turkey meat with germs

Health hazard: Turkey meat contaminated with germs
13.01.2015

In an examination of turkey meat from the discounter, the BUND has detected highly antibiotic-resistant germs in almost 90 percent of the cases. This poses a significant health risk to consumers. You should pay attention to strict kitchen hygiene.

Antibiotic-resistant germs on 90 percent of the samples According to an investigation, cheap turkey meat from the discounter is often contaminated with dangerous germs. As the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) announced in Berlin, antibiotic-resistant germs were found in a nationwide sample of almost 90 percent of the pieces of meat. According to a message from the AFP news agency, the organization demanded that the use of antibiotics in animal fattening be significantly reduced.

Packaged turkey meat from the discounter For the examination in twelve cities, BUND had bought fresh, packaged turkey meat from Aldi, Lidl, Real, Netto and Penny and had it examined in the laboratory. The samples were tested for so-called MRSA germs (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). These bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics and are said to be responsible for the deaths of 10,000 to 15,000 people a year in Germany. According to experts, there is an increased risk especially for people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms that can trigger an infection in a patient include inflammation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and blood poisoning.

No germs on meat from farm slaughterhouses In addition, the presence of ESBL-producing germs was examined. Such bacteria can pass on antibiotic resistance to other bacteria. In total, the laboratory found 42 times at MRSA and 30 times at ESBL. Only seven of the 57 samples were unloaded. For comparison, the BUND also tested four samples from farm slaughterhouses where the turkeys had been kept as an alternative. No contamination was found for this meat.

Adhering to strict kitchen hygiene According to the BUND, the dangerous germs can be transmitted to people if, for example, the raw meat is cut with the same knife as other foods, which are then eaten raw. Experts repeatedly point out that germs can generally be killed by heat. If food is heated to well over 60 to 70 degrees, as is normally the case when cooking, grilling or roasting, the pathogens will not survive. In addition, strict kitchen hygiene should be observed. Raw meat should never be cut with the same knife as cooked meat or vegetables, and the cutting board should also be different. The most important hygiene rule is regular hand washing. Cutlery and dishes should be washed carefully after contact with meat.

BUND calls for changes in pharmaceutical law Reinhild Benning from BUND called the study results "shocking but not surprising". BUND chairman Hubert Weiger sees the reason for the high load in industrial turkey fattening and the desire of consumers for cheap meat. According to the dpa news agency, he said: "If too many animals are kept in a confined space, large amounts of antibiotics must inevitably be given, which then end up in the kitchens of consumers." The BUND therefore calls for changes in animal welfare and pharmaceutical law. In particular, the use of so-called reserve antibiotics in factory farming must be prohibited. In human medicine, reserve antibiotics are urgently needed to treat serious infectious diseases against which normal antibiotics no longer work. (ad)

Image: Jörg Klemme, Hamburg / pixelio.de

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