Agency Response To MRSA Report

UK - The Food Standards Agency today reiterated advice on safe handling and cooking of meat for those worried by a report of a strain of 'superbug' MRSA in farm animals.
calendar icon 26 June 2007
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The Soil Association report highlights a new strain of the bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that has developed amongst intensively farmed pigs, chickens and other livestock, especially in the Netherlands, where it has spread to some farm workers and their families.

'The Agency is aware of this issue and we are keeping a watching brief on developments across Europe,' said Paul Cook of the Food Standards Agency Microbiological Safety Division. 'However, this is already being considered jointly by a number of Government agencies. Any possible emerging risk in the UK will be assessed, and appropriate action will be taken.

'We have only just received the report from the Soil Association, which we will examine in detail.'

None of the new strain of MRSA has been found in UK food-producing animals.

The Agency's advice on avoiding food poisoning bacteria applies equally to any strain of MRSA. Proper cooking will destroy MRSA. Guidance on the safe handling and cooking of food, especially meat, is available at the link below.

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