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Much of U.S. Pork Supply Contaminated With Dangerous Bacteria and Drugs

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We're a meat loving culture in the U.S., and one of our favorite meats is pork. However, Consumer Reports recently came out with scary findings about pork: that about 3 to 7 percent of our supply is contaminated with dangerous bacteria and drugs.

According to the report, 198 U.S. samples of pork obtained by Consumer Reports contained salmonella, staphylococcus aureus and listeria monocytogenes bacteria, all of which are known to cause foodborne illnesses. Moreover, widespread contamination of the bacterium yersinia enterocolitica was found in 69% of the sample of pork, a bacteria linked to fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Other scary findings included that about one-fifth of the pork contained low levels of the drug ractopamine, a drug used to accelerate growth and leanness in pigs. The drug is banned in Europe, China and Taiwan, but still allowed in the U.S. Furthermore, Consumer Reports found that the majority of the bacteria samples it discovered were resistant to at least one of the medically prescribed antibiotics it tested in the lab. This isn't a big suprise, considering that much of our meat is fed with antibiotics to keep animals from getting sick.