Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in U.S. Retail Meat

Study shows effects of geography and shipping on contamination

January 09, 2024

KPSOM faculty member Sara Y. Tartof

KPSOM faculty member Sara Y. Tartof

A recent study shows the factors influencing the presence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria in U.S. retail meat. Analyzing data from the FDA's National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), researchers discovered a correlation between MDR contamination and the geographic location where meat is processed and sold, as well as the distance it travels.

Sara Y. Tartof, PhD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine (KPSOM) Assistant Professor at Health Systems Science, coauthored the study, titled “Distance and destination of retail meat alter multidrug resistant contamination in the United States food system,” published in Nature Journal.

Key findings showed that meat processed in the southern region exhibited a 35 percent higher prevalence of MDR contamination compared to other areas. Additionally, meat shipped between 194 to 469 miles demonstrated a 59 percent increased risk of MDR contamination. The study also identified New York as having the highest prevalence of MDR Salmonella contamination and highlighted the need for further exploration of processing methods to mitigate bacterial contamination in the retail meat supply chain, particularly in specific regions and during transportation.

Read the article here .