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Every second discounter chicken meat sample is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant germs
A current analysis by the environmental organization “Germanwatch” has shown that more than every second chicken from the discounter is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant pathogens. One in three chicken meat samples even showed exposure to special resistance to reserve antibiotics.
Various pathogens identified
"Chicken meat contaminated with dangerous diarrhea germs", "Pathogens found in chicken legs", "Campylobacter bacteria in chicken meat": headlines like this have been read over and over again in recent years. Meat is often contaminated even with multi-resistant germs. This is also shown by a current analysis by the environmental and consumer protection organization Germanwatch.
Still a cause for concern
After many years of federal government efforts, antibiotics in factory farming should no longer be a cause for concern, writes the environmental organization Germanwatch on its website.
Unfortunately it is. Because cheap chickens from discounters are 56 percent contaminated with germs that are resistant to antibiotics.
More than every third chicken is contaminated with germs that are resistant to reserve antibiotics.
Read on this topic:
Warning of common antibiotics due to severe side effects
Chicken meat half contaminated with dangerous diarrhea germs
This was the result of a sample study commissioned by Germanwatch, in which a total of 59 chicken meat samples from industrial meat production were examined for resistant pathogens.
Allegation to the Minister of Agriculture
As the experts explain in the "Analysis of Chicken Meat for Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens", reserve antibiotics such as colistin are used as the last resort in humans against infectious diseases when other antibiotics are no longer effective.
Such resistances can often be spread across species and to humans and animals.
Why is there always more contaminated chicken meat?
As there is an increasing number of chicken meat contaminated with pathogens, the question arises as to what the increase in impurities is based on. The reason for this is probably the uninhibited spread of the pathogens in the slaughterhouses. With the prevailing hygiene measures, apparently too little is being done against this special pathogen.
"Minister of Agriculture Klöckner failed to combat antibiotic resistance from factory farming," said Reinhild Benning, agricultural expert at Germanwatch.
"This is shown by the persistently high resistance rates of the pathogens to chicken meat."
The minister allowed multiresistant germs, ESBL-forming (Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamases) bacteria and colistin-resistant pathogens on cheap meat to reach the kitchens of consumers, in restaurants and also in hospital kitchens.
"Antibiotic resistance will only decrease if the federal government prohibits reserve antibiotics in animal factories and makes all veterinary antibiotics with fixed prices so expensive that they are no longer prescribed to compensate for the consequences of the catastrophic husbandry conditions and turbo farming in cheap meat and cheap milk production", said Benning.
No one consistently offered uncontaminated chicken
The poultry meat samples come from the discounters or supermarket groups Edeka, Rewe, Lidl, Aldi and Metro, which together determine 90 percent of the food market in Germany.
According to the Germanwatch, none of the "Top 5" supermarket groups consistently offered uncontaminated chicken.
Penny meat samples were over 80 percent contaminated, and Aldi chicken meat was contaminated 75 percent.
The majority of the net chickens were contaminated with 58 percent. Every third sample from Lidl and Real stores had resistant pathogens.
As the experts report, 20 percent of the cheap chickens showed multi-resistance to three different classes of antibiotics at the same time, six meat samples carried MRSA pathogens (ten percent) and three chicken samples ESBL-forming germs (five percent).
The laboratory for pharmaceutical microbiology at the University of Greifswald carried out the examination of the chicken meat samples from the four top-selling slaughterhouse groups (PHW Group, Sprehe Group, Plukon Germany and Rothkötter Group) for chicken.
Court slaughter without resistance to reserve antibiotics
In addition, Germanwatch has made eleven sample purchases at slaughterhouses from all over Germany.
One of these chicken meat samples from artisanal slaughter was contaminated with MRSA.
However, contamination with resistance to reserve antibiotics was not found in the farm slaughter.
The exposure of a sample to MRSA must be reflected. The result of the sample seems to indicate a health benefit for meat from artisanal slaughter compared to 56 percent contaminated samples from industrial slaughter.
Six of the eleven samples from farm slaughter came from organic farms. No antibiotic-resistant germs were found in these organic chicken meat samples.
Fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 700,000 people die worldwide every year from the effects of antibiotic resistance.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there are up to 4,000 people a year in Germany.
The EU Agency for Disease Protection, ECDC, reported in 2018 that the number of infections caused by resistant germs has increased significantly since 2007.
In 2015, more than 670,000 infections with resistant bacteria were counted in Europe, 33,000 people died as a result of infections with antibiotic-resistant pathogens, of which around two thirds are assigned to the healthcare system.
Food is certainly considered a transmission route for antibiotic resistance, but it is not known to what extent.
“With this study, Germanwatch would like to make a contribution to fighting the spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens from animal husbandry much more effectively. The current priority is to effectively maintain the so-called reserve antibiotics with the highest priority for people, primarily for human medicine, ”write the experts.
And: "Germanwatch urges to secure reserve antibiotics according to the UN health organization for sick people and to stop these agents at all levels of factory farming - including hatcheries and breeding farms - as the Federal Council has already discussed." (Ad)