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Antibiotic-free or organic poultry half as likely to be contaminated with multidrug-resistant Salmonella

Eating Salmonella-contaminated meat that is not properly handled or cooked can lead to infection. A study involving a Penn State College of Medicine researcher found that meat from conventionally raised poultry was twice as likely to contain multidrug-resistant Salmonella compared to poultry labeled antibiotic-free or organic.

Xin Yin, a doctor of public health candidate at the College of Medicine and lead author on the study, said the data may inform consumer decisions when purchasing chicken or turkey.

“Although contamination of retail poultry was found in both conventionally raised and antibiotic-free samples, our results show that Salmonella in poultry produced without antibiotics – based on packaging claims – was significantly less resistant to antibiotics compared with poultry raised using conventional methods,” Yin said. “Consumers should read production labels and make informed choices based on the evidence about the risk of poultry contamination with drug-resistant Salmonella.”

The results of the study were presented as part of the Infectious Diseases Week hosted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Washington, D.C.

Read more about this study here.

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