A study published in USDA's FoodReview states that foodborne illness in the U.S. costs $5.6 to $9.4 billion annually. Over 40 different microbiological pathogens are presumed responsible. The 7 most critical pathogens come primarily from meat and poultry. The are Campylobacter jejuni or coli, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Toxoplasma gondii. This report from the Food and Consumer Economics Division of USDA's Economic Research Service said that "Foods most likely to carry pathogens are high-protein, nonacid foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs." Source: Egg Industry Aug. 1996.
A new strain of salmonella resistant to antibiotics, Salmonella typhimurium DT104, is spreading across the country and sending people to the hospital. In 1995, Britain reported 3,500 cases, three times higher than two years earlier. According to Feedstuffs (May 20, 1996), "The new strain of salmonella has been found in chicken, hamburgers and sausages. DT104 has a significantly higher mortality rate than other strains. . . . British authorities now worry that DT104 could be the first of a number of new antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella found in hens, cattle, pigs, fish and sheep. More than 1,800 British farms were infected with DT104 last year."
What Can I Do?
Tell everyone you know that eating poultry, eggs, and other animal products significantly increases their chances of getting sick. UPC's all-vegetarian cookbook Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey is the perfect holiday gift for those you love. Send check or money order to UPC. $11.95.