Study Finds Less Bacteria Contamination on Organic Meat

Meat that is USDA certified organic is less likely to be contaminated with bacteria that can sicken people, including dangerous, multidrug-resistant organisms, according to a study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers found that, compared to conventionally processed meats, organic-certified meats were 56% less likely to be contaminated with multidrug-resistant bacteria. The study was based on nationwide testing of meats from 2012 to 2017 as part of the U.S. National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). The rate of contamination was 4% in the conventionally produced meat samples and just under 1% in those that were produced organically. The study also found that among conventional meats, those processed at facilities that exclusively handled conventional meats were contaminated with bacteria one-third of the time, while those handled at facilities that processed both conventional and organic meats were contaminated one-quarter of the time.