Date PostedJuly 8, 2013

Countries Battle with Antibiotic-Resistant Food poisoning

Even more reason to be careful that the food you eat is safe has surfaced in countries all over the world.  Never before in history has safety been such a prevalent and important issue as it is today and with new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria surfacing each year we cannot afford to ignore food safety and hygiene.

Strains of an increasinglyantibiotic-resistant Salmonella have been increasing rapidly across the globe, this according to a recent study published by a group of researchers at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Morocco.

Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella was, according to the researchers, first isolated in 2002 in a French tourist who had visited Egypt and has now spread throughout the continent of Africa as well as across the Middle East at an alarmingly high rate.

But the bacterium is not limited to developing countries, it has also been linked to farm bred turkeys in Europe.

I recently came across an article on in which the study was summarized. According to the post the lead author of the study expressed concerns that the resistant strain could soon spread to European poultry farms.

Another report done by Canadian researchers called the antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella, known as Kentucky, a “growing concern”.  The study found that between 2003 and 2009 in Canadian patients, 30 per cent of those with Salmonella Kentucky were resistant to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. However it was found that these patients had all contracted the bacteria while travelling Africa and not from any Canadian manufactured food products because they had developed the symptoms within a week of travelling to the continent.

Even countries such as Morocco have been severely hit with hundreds of infections being reported every year. Although no Australian accounts were reported by the researchers this is useful information for Aussies especially those travelling abroad.

This excerpt from explains:

AntibioticPillsMainThe main vehicle of transmission for antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Kentucky from African and Middle Eastern countries appears to be chickens and turkeys. The authors said the resistance is believed to be caused by “the massive overuse” of antibiotics in African poultry farming.

According to a May 2013 report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the U.S. saw 55 outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant pathogens between 1973 and 2011. Contaminated dairy products and ground beef accounted for the majority of those outbreaks.

Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strains accounted for 50 (91 percent) of those drug-resistant outbreaks, though none of them were Salmonella Kentucky. At least 35 (64 percent) of those were resistant to five or more antibiotics.


It is useful to know how to keep safe when travelling and the dos and don’ts of eating while in countries where these risky strains of Salmonella have been found.

  • Wash your hands as much as possible, especially before eating and after using the toilet.
  • Do not use dirty public facilities if you can avoid them, use the toilet before leaving your hotel each day
  • Don’t eat undercooked chicken, meat, fish, egg and dairy products or any hot food which has gone cold. Be especially careful of buffet foods that are not being properly heated.
  • If you notice food utensils have residue on them, ask for a clean one.
  • Don’t use utensils with food residue– find a clean one
  • Don’t eat food handled by people without gloves.
  • Avoid home-made ice cream which may have been made with unpasteurised milk – stick to branded, wrapped products if you’re unsure about the contents.
  • Only drink water from sealed bottles because an alarming amount of drinking supplies can become contaminated with salmonella. Don’t forget that ice cubes are also water and can be filled with Salmonella.
  • Remember food left exposed to birds, lizards etc. are at risk of Salmonella, so don’t eat from food left open or on the street.


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