The Continuing Concern of Superbugs and Antibiotic Resistance

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chickenThere has been a growing concern about the lack of regulation and the practice of giving antibiotics to livestock to minimize illness and enhance the animals’ growth. Just as people become resistant to antibiotics, when they are over-exposed to them, animals also build an antibiotic-resistance that makes mutated bacteria harder to eliminate. Due to the way that antibiotics typically affect bacteria, this resistance has led to the occurrence of “Superbugs” — stronger versions of the bacteria that are able to thrive, in spite of the traditional treatments.

For those individuals who choose to eat kosher chicken, you may not be making the healthier choice that you think you are. A study by Northern Arizona University printed in a science article for Food Safety News found that kosher chicken has been shown to have as much as double the amount of antibiotic-resistant E. coli as the non-Kosher varieties.  Although there are some people who eat the kosher variety for religious reasons, a much larger percent make the choice because kosher meat is believed to be safer.

Most of the stories about Superbugs that lead to human outbreaks of related illness due to antibiotic resistance focus on those like E. coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella. Although there was no clarifying data collected about what number of the bacteria collected were those that were harmful to humans, this study indicates that a large part of the problem may be in the way kosher chicken is produced.

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