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Drug Resistant Bacteria Found in Nation’s Meat and Poultry


EMSL Analytical provides food testing services for Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogens to protect consumers and industry.

Cinnaminson, NJ

Last month it was reported that a new study discovered that the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, is found widely in the nation’s meat and poultry. The study found that 47% of the 136 samples taken from 26 retail stores in 5 cities across the nation were contaminated with S. aureus. It also reported that 52% of the bacteria were resistant to at least 3 classes of antibiotics.

Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive spherical bacterium which on microscopic examination appears in pairs, short chains, or as bunched, grape-like clusters. Some strains are capable of producing a highly heat-stable protein toxin that causes illness in humans.

Foods that are frequently incriminated in staphylococcal food poisoning include meat and meat products; poultry and egg products; salads such as egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni; bakery products such as cream-filled pastries, cream pies, and chocolate eclairs; sandwich fillings; and milk and dairy products. Foods that require considerable handling during preparation and that are kept at slightly elevated temperatures after preparation are also frequently involved in staphylococcal food poisoning.

EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s largest food pathogen testing laboratories, has extensive expertise in testing for Staphylococcus aureus and other dangerous food pathogens. “Staphylococci exist in air, dust, sewage, water, milk and food as well as on food equipment, environmental surfaces, humans and animals,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL. “Humans and animals are the primary reservoirs. Although food handlers are usually the main source of food contamination in food poisoning outbreaks, equipment and environmental surfaces can also be sources of contamination from the bacteria,” he continued.

EMSL recently sponsored a public outreach video to inform people about Staphylococcus aureus. It can be viewed at:

To learn more about food pathogen testing services please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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 Staphylococcus aureus
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