Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Latest Food Scare Avoided with Proper Handling and Cooking

Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Seems like every month there is a new food scare that makes the national news. Most recently, it was antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens found in pork.

But whether pathogens are drug-resistant or not, consumers should know that these microorganisms can be controlled by proper food handling and destroyed by proper cooking, noted a food-safety expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Worries about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork were triggered by an article in the January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. The piece described a survey that found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork-chop and ground-pork samples. The article suggested that the frequent use of low-dose antibiotics in hog farming may be accelerating the growth of drug-resistant "superbugs" that threaten human health.

The overuse of antibiotics is a concern from an overall public-health perspective, whether those antibiotics are used for animals or for humans, according to Martin Bucknavage, Penn State Extension food-safety specialist. But he explained that eating pork presents the same safety challenges as any other meat.

"All raw meat products -- whether pork, beef, poultry or fish -- have the potential to carry bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella or E. coli," Bucknavage said. "Therefore, one needs to properly cook and handle raw meat to prevent any potential for illness."

The presence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in meat is an issue that needs to be addressed through more careful use of antibiotics in livestock, Bucknavage said. But antibiotic resistance adds no special ability for those bacterial pathogens to resist heating and cleaning with sanitizers.

"At the consumer level, these bacteria will be controlled in raw meat the same as any other bacteria -- though proper cooking and cleaning," he said.

Bucknavage recommended these steps to minimize the risk of foodborne illness:

-- When cooking pork or any other meat, use a meat thermometer to ensure that it reaches the proper internal temperature, which kills potentially harmful bacteria (at least 145 F for whole cuts and 160 F for ground meat).

-- Keep raw meat and its juices separate from other foods, especially those foods that are eaten raw, such as salad.

-- Wash your hands and any kitchen surfaces or utensils thoroughly after handling or contacting raw meat.

It is true that there is a link between the use of antibiotics in livestock and a higher level of antibiotic-resistant organisms that can be found in meat, Bucknavage pointed out. "However, epidemiological evidence does not show a tie between those organisms and increased human illness," he said.

He noted that the industry has taken many steps to restrict the use of antibiotics in livestock. "To further combat the concern, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year released guidance to promote the judicious use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals."

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Using Information Technology to Tackle the Root of World Hungar
Scientists are studying what the rest of us don't see--the work going on underneath the ground that enables the growth of healthier crops.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Penn State Researchers Part of Award-Winning Africa Research Team
College of Agricultural Sciences scientists are part of a research team that recently won 2013 Africa Collaboration Challenge Prize.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Number of Foodborne Illness Cases Largely Unchanged in U.S.
Recently released reports about the frequency of foodborne illness show that the risks have not changed much in recent years, according to an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Changing Cellulose-Forming Process May Tap Plants' Biofuel Potential
Changing the way a plant forms cellulose may lead to more efficient, less expensive biofuel production, according to Penn State engineers.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Cattle Expert: New Livestock Identification Regulations Not Burdensome
The new livestock identification program recently launched by the federal government should not place a significant burden on producers in Pennsylvania or the East.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Scientific News
Ancestors of Land Plants Were Wired to Make the Leap to Shore
When the algal ancestor of modern land plants made the transition from aquatic environments to an inhospitable shore 450 million years ago, it changed the world by dramatically altering climate and setting the stage for the vast array of terrestrial life.
Photosynthesis Gene Could Help Crops Grow in Adverse Conditions
A gene that helps plants to remain healthy during times of stress has been identified by researchers at Oxford University.
Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells Could be "Suffocated" by Anti-diabetic Drug
A new study shows that pancreatic cancer stem cells (PancSCs) are virtually addicted to oxygen-based metabolism, and could be “suffocated” with a drug already used to treat diabetes.
Scientists Learn How to Predict Plant Size
VIB and UGent scientists have developed a new method which allows them to predict the final size of a plant while it is still a seedling.
Scientists Home In On Origin Of Human, Chimpanzee Facial Differences
A study of species-specific regulation of gene expression in chimps and humans has identified regions important in human facial development and variation.
Nanoporous Gold Sponge Makes Pathogen Detector
Sponge-like nanoporous gold could be key to new devices to detect disease-causing agents in humans and plants, according to UC Davis researchers.
Genetic Manipulation for Algal Biofuel Production
Studies of the genes involved in oil synthesis in microalgae allow scientists to use a gene promoter to increase algal production of triacylglycerols, which in turn enhances potential biofuel yields.
Phosphorous Fertilizer
UD researchers identify behaviors of nanoparticle that shows promise as nanofertilizer.
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel
The solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel, University of Adelaide researchers have found.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos