Greens: 16 percent of the sausage is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant ESBL germs
In an investigation commissioned by the Greens' parliamentary group, germs in sausage products found in 13 German cities were found to be harmful to health. The ESBL germs are due to the increased use of antibiotics in factory farming. More and more pathogens are becoming resistant to the agents and can spread unhindered. According to the scientists, turkey sausage in particular is often contaminated with germs.
Turkey sausage and meat products were most frequently contaminated with ESBL germs. The scientists examined a total of 63 sausage products from supermarkets, discounters and bakeries. Antibiotic-resistant pathogens, so-called ESBL germs, were detected in ten samples (16 percent). In the group of turkey meat products, 66 percent of the samples were contaminated. The tested lettuce products also frequently contained the harmful germs at 22 percent. In December 2012, the quota was 16 percent. Netto turkey sausage and turkey onion sausage from Rewe, Kaufland and Penny were most frequently affected. In addition, the scientists detected ESBL germs in the onion sausage from Kaufland, the tea sausage from Rügenwalder, the paprika ham sausage from Aldi and in a meat roll from the butcher Bendig.
Antibiotic-resistant germs due to too many antibiotics in factory farming. The abbreviation ESBL stands for "extended-spectrum beta-lactamases". These enzymes are able to render antibiotics ineffective. Bacteria need a specific “resistance gene” to form these enzymes, which can be passed on from one generation of bacteria to the next.
While these pathogens only occurred in hospitals for a long time, they have also been found in poultry, pig and cattle fattening since 2000. Numerous studies have shown a worrying increase in antibiotic resistance, which is mainly due to the massive and often improper use of antibiotics in livestock farming. The funds are intended to prevent the spread of diseases in the stables. However, ESBL germs against which antibiotics are powerless also develop in the animals. The fattening stalls act as a training camp for the pathogens.
Greens: Federal government should stop large-scale antibiotic use in fattening animal husbandry If the bacteria get into the human body through meat consumption, they nest in the intestine because digestion cannot harm these pathogens. Antibiotics also no longer work, making medical treatment significantly more difficult and infections can be life-threatening. Around 30,000 patients die each year because antibiotics are no longer effective for them.
The Greens are therefore calling on the federal government to stop the large-scale use of antibiotics in fattening animals. "The animal fattening system is a ticking time bomb," Anton Hofreiter, chairman of the Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag, warned the "Tagesspiegel". "With the production methods for cheap meat, we endanger our own health." The Federal Office for Risk Research shares this view. According to estimates, six million Germans already carry antibiotic-resistant germs.
Image: Ernst Rose / pixelio.de.