An analysis by researchers in Pennsylvania found that meat from conventionally raised poultry harbored nearly twice as much multidrug-resistant Salmonella as meat from antibiotic-free poultry, according to a study reported today at IDWeek 2019.
The findings come from a study conducted by scientists with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Penn State College of Medicine, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that examined non-typhoidal Salmonella cultures from nearly 3,500 samples of chicken and turkey bought from randomly selected stores in Pennsylvania from 2008 through 2017. Analysis of the Salmonella cultures found that 55% of those from conventionally raised poultry meat were resistant to three or more antibiotic classes, compared with 28% of the cultures from the antibiotic-free poultry meat.
Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne illness, affecting more than 1.2 million Americans each year. While most cases are self-limiting, some salmonellosis cases require antibiotics and hospitalization. Drug-resistant Salmonella is harder to treat and can cause more severe and sometimes deadly infections.