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Resistant Bacteria Found in Poultry Meat

11 January 2012, at 9:52am

GERMANY - Of 20 chicken tests done at random in supermarkets and discount stores in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Nuremberg and Stuttgart, 10 were positive with ESBL (Extended Spectrum Beta-lactamase) and methicillin-resistant bacteria MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

"This is the result of persistent disturbing abuse of antibiotics," said the president of the environmental organisation, BUND, Hubert Weiger, who criticised the use of antibiotics in animal production.

The organisation noted that the animals are subjected to prolonged treatment with a combination of different medicines.

According to Mr Weiger, in intensive poultry rearing between 22 and 24 chickens are maintained per square metre. And having an increasing number of animals in too small a space is only possible using large amounts of antibiotics.

Over-use of antibiotics such as cephalosporins, food additives used in livestock and farm animals to promote growth, accelerate the development of resistance to antibiotics.

The proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a danger to people with weak immune systems, such as the elderly, sick, children and pregnant women. In extreme cases, an infection can even lead to death.

It is estimated that at European level there are about 25,000 infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria a year.