Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Study Finds Bacteria In American Pork, Some Drug-Resistant

Consumer Reports has just published some bad news for pork lovers.


Photo: BBQ Junkie (Flickr)

To avoid food-borne illness, ensure meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees for pork chops and 160 degrees for ground pork.

Rampant Contamination

A new Consumer Reports study has found an alarmingly high incidence of bacterial contamination in American ground pork and pork chops.

Yersinia enterocolitica — a bug that sickens some one hundred thousand people in the United States each year — was found in a whopping 69 percent of samples. Youngsters are particularly susceptible to Y. enterocoliticainfection, and account for most diagnoses. Symptoms include abdominal pain, fever and bloody diarrhea.

Staphylococcus, listeria, enterococcus and salmonella were also detected, including drug-resistant strains, which have evolved thanks to excessive use of antibiotics in swine farming.


Short of abandoning pig derivatives altogether, there are a number of things you can do to avoid contracting pork-borne illnesses.

Using a meat thermometer to ensure meat is cooked thoroughly, hand washing, and keeping raw meat separate from fruits and veggies during preparation will lower risk significantly.

Consumers can also opt for certified organic pork or pork labeled “No Antibiotics Administered/USDA Process Verified” to ensure meat hasn’t been treated with antibiotics.

Read More:

Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media