The consumer advocacy group Forbrugerrådet Tænk carried out a study that found the MRSA CC398 bacteria in nearly every third package of pork in Danish supermarkets, BT reported on Tuesday.
The advocacy group purchased 25 packages of pork in various supermarkets and took them to a lab for tests, where it was found that eight of them, or 32 percent, were infected with the bacteria.
The Danish Food and Veterinary Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) states that MRSA cannot be transmitted to humans through pork consumption, but 1,271 people were infected with MRSA CC398 in 2014 through contact with livestock. Two of the infected people died and eight suffered toxaemia. The number of infections was nearly twice as many as the 648 people who were infected in 2013.
The presence of MRSA in pork is also on the rise. In September 2014, a spot check of pork products found the bacteria in every fifth pack. Although that is significantly lower than the new findings, just five years ago similar tests found the bacteria in only five percent of pork products.
“Our test confirms that the MRSA bacteria is very widespread and moves from the pig stalls all the way out to the supermarkets and we as a society face a major challenge in fighting the forward march of multi-resistant bacteria,” Forbrugerrådet Tænk's chairwoman, Anja Philip, told BT.
In March, Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen announced an action plan to combat the growing prevalence of MRSA but it was slammed as “unambitious” by a leading expert.