Poultry Linked to Antibiotic Resistant Urinary Tract Infections

If you are a person that has re-occurring bouts with urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and think you are just one of those unlucky people susceptible to them, you may want to take a closer look at the food you eat.

Drug resistant urinary tract infections are happening more frequently and this represents a serious danger. An estimated 8 million UTI’s occur in the U.S. each year, and almost 10 percent of them are antibiotic-resistant. That percentage will most likely grow as time goes on. The antibiotics we usually rely on are getting less effective for treatment.

The most common antibiotics used for UTI’s are also the same ones used in the feed of our livestock. A decades long buildup of drug resistance in the drug fed livestock has been transferred to those who consume them, and the biggest culprit appears to be poultry.

Researchers have found multi-drug resistant strains of E. coli in chicken meat. In most cases, the E. coli bacteria with UTI’s is the exact same as that of the E. coli found in the supermarket chickens that is transferred and spread through handling and can easily spread to the urethra and cause urinary-tract infections, especially in women.

It’s not the actual consumption that is the biggest problem. When you cook the chicken, it kills the bacteria. It’ how we handle the contaminated carcass of the chicken or turkey during the food preparation process. Bacteria from chicken feces ends up on the raw chickens, then the cutting board, utensils, your hands, even on refrigerators, cupboards and doorknobs. This toxin then gets transferred directly to our most venerable areas unknowingly and causes an infection.

Simply put, the infection we have given ourselves also provides the antibiotic resistance in the same dose. UTI’s can travel from the urinary system to the bladder, into the kidneys, and even into the bloodstream. This can be very dangerous, and even life threatening.

The best defense other than becoming a vegetarian (careful- E-coli can also turn up on contaminated vegetables) is to buy turkeys and chickens raised on organic poultry farms. These products have not been forced fed antibiotics and lived lives in cramped conditions, leading to mass contaminations.

The FDA is looking into restricting the use of antibiotics in animals raised for food due to the growing evidence that our antibiotics are losing strength. In the meantime, stay away from any foods that have been altered or modified for mass consumption.

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