Health

High incidence of drug-resistant bacteria found in ready-to-cook poultry products

The study raises question on effectiveness of modern food processing techniques to produce microbiologically safe food products

 
By Ananya Tewari
Last Updated: Thursday 24 August 2017
The study analysed presence of Salmonella bacterium in 87 chilled and frozen ready-to-cook poultry samples. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The study analysed presence of Salmonella bacterium in 87 chilled and frozen ready-to-cook poultry samples. Credit: Wikimedia Commons The study analysed presence of Salmonella bacterium in 87 chilled and frozen ready-to-cook poultry samples. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Fresh poultry has been known to be contaminated with Salmonella (bacterium), but a recent study of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai has revealed presence of the bacterium in ready-to-cook poultry products. Study released in May 2017 analysed presence of Salmonella in 87 chilled and frozen ready-to-cook poultry samples of four different brands purchased from supermarkets and departmental stores of Mumbai.

Salmonella, gram-negative bacteria, is known to cause food-borne illness. Most people infected by pathogen develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12-72 hours after infection. Important sources of human Salmonella infections are poultry meat, eggs and foods of animal origin.

Out of the total tested samples, prevalence of Salmonella was found to be higher in chilled samples (51 per cent) than the frozen ones (5 percent). The study did not reveal names of the tested sample brands. However, it found one of the brands for frozen sample to be free from Salmonella. More than 80 per cent of the sampled microorganisms were multidrug-resistant with resistance to five or more antibiotics.

A total of 19 antibiotic resistance patterns were observed with the most predominant pattern being Nalidixic Acid, Sulphamethizole, Chlortetracycline, Kanamycin, Oxytetracycline, Trimethoprim, Tetracycline (29 isolates) followed by Ampicillin, Cephalothin, Nalidixic Acid, Sulphamethizole, Chlortetracycline, Kanamycin, Oxytetracycline, Trimethoprim and Tetracycline (16 isolates). Many of these are used to treat human infections.

Antibiotics for which resistance was reported and their use in humans

Antibiotics

Used in treating

Nalidixic Acid

Urinary tract infections

Sulphamethizole

Urinary tract infections

Chlortetracycline

Skin infections (hydrochloride salt)

Kanamycin

Any serious bacterial infection

Oxytetracycline

Acne vulgaris, bronchitis and pneumonia

Trimethoprim

Urinary tract infections and pneumonia

Tetracycline

Infections of skin, intestines, respiratory tract, lymph nodes and genitals

Ampicillin

Respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections

Cephalothin

Skin or soft tissue infections and preventing infections at the surgical site

Due to the high incidence of Salmonella and resistance to multiple antibiotics, the study concluded that modern food processing techniques, adopted by the industry, is not effective and sufficient to produce microbiologically safe products.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
Related Stories

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.

  • To combat the food adulteration markets is to mass serialise the original goods and empower the customers to check the originality and other product’s characteristics. Serialization is maybe the most powerful and cost effective anti-adulteration solution, the one offered by MY-VALIDACTOR is immediately available, easy to implement and at a cost near to zero.
    This is how final customers would like to check the quality and the characteristics of any food food in general http://www.my-validactor.com/blog/files/47efe66d9a228e5e737ff904a6f9fff9-85.html

    Posted by: Dino | one year ago | Reply