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Why I Do Not Recommend Pork - Nearly 70 Percent Contaminated with Dangerous Pathogens

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

 Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there may be good reason to carefully consider your decision to include pork as a regular part of your diet, because despite advertising campaigns trying to paint pork as a "healthy" alternative to beef, research suggests it may be hazardous to your health on multiple levels. One of the most potentially acute hazards is contamination with pathogenic bacteria.

 According to a surprising new investigation by Consumer Reports1, 69 percent of all raw pork samples tested - nearly 200 samples in total - were contaminated with the dangerous bacteria Yersinia enterocolitica, which causes fever and gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

 Ground pork was more likely than pork chops to be contaminated.

 The pork also tested positive for other contaminants, including the controversial drug ractopamine, which is banned in many parts of the world, including China and Europe. The drug, which was found in more than 20 percent of the samples, is used to boost growth in the animal while leaving the meat lean. Worst of all, many of the bacteria found in the pork were resistant to multiple antibiotics, making treatment, should you fall ill, all the more problematic and potentially lethal.

 According to the featured report:

     "We found salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, or listeria monocytogenes, more common causes of foodborne illness, in 3 to 7 percent of samples. And 11 percent harbored enterococcus, which can indicate fecal contamination and can cause problems such as urinary-tract infections."


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