British pork sold in Asda and Sainsbury’s has been found to contain the MRSA ‘superbug’, a report has claimed.
The strain of MRSA was discovered in two samples of minced pork, one from each of the stores, according to the Guardian.
The strain is resistant to antibiotics, and extremely difficult to treat. It can cause serious and potentially fatal infections in humans. However, this does not pose a significant risk to the public, according to experts. The superbug, like other foodborne germs, is killed by thorough cooking. People are advised to follow good food hygiene to minimise the risk to their health.
The findings came after 97 UK-produced pork products from supermarkets were tested, commissioned by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, Compassion in World Farming and Sustain.
Commenting on the finding, a spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “Livestock-associated MRSA is not the same as MRSA strains that can cause healthcare-associated infections and if meat is handled and prepared properly, the risk to people is low.
“Defra and the National Pig Association recommend that pigs imported to Britain are screened for LA-MRSA.
“The Government is currently reviewing options for surveillance, which will be proportionate to the very low health risk posed by livestock-associated MRSA.”
A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “We only allow the use of medicines on farms for animal health and welfare purposes, and under the strict supervision of a vet. We work closely with our farmers to ensure antibiotics are used responsibly.
“MRSA CC398 is uncommon in British pork and, through basic kitchen hygiene and thoroughly cooking meat, any food safety issue is removed.”
An Asda spokeswoman added: “Our customers can be assured that we are working closely with industry groups and farmers to make sure that antibiotics are used responsibly in farm animals.
“We are doing all we can to promote good animal health and welfare conditions without relying on antibiotics.”