According to a research carried out by Consumer Reports, most of the pork presently available for purchase in supermarkets across the US is actually contaminated with a food-borne pathogen scientifically referred to as Yersinia enterocolitica.
More precisely, the specialists who looked into this issue have found that, as laboratory tests have shown, roughly 69% of the pork-based products they took into consideration for this study contained said pathogen.
Study author Urvashi Rangan commented on his and his team's finding as follows:
“The results were concerning. It’s hard to say that there was no problem. It shows that there needs to be better hygiene at animal plants.”
ABC News explains that, despite the fact that this pathogen can be killed by making sure the meat is properly cooked, Yersinia enterocolitica somehow ends up infecting as many as 100,000 American citizens on a yearly basis.
Sometimes, this happens not because the meat was not properly cooked, but because of so-called cross-contamination: kitchen utensils used to cut the pork are not efficiently cleaned before being used to prepare other meals.
The people whose organisms become exposed to this bacterium develop symptoms such as fever, cramps and bloody diarrhea.
Still, there are few who actually choose to visit their doctor when they start feeling ill, which basically translates into quite a lot of cases escaping diagnosis.
Because Consumer Reports only tested 198 pork products prior to their making these statements, the US Pork Producer's Council decided to argue against their findings.
Their complaints are based on the idea that, when compared to how much pork is marketed in the US on a daily basis, testing just 198 products and then coming up with a “verdict” can hardly qualify as a scientific approach to the matter at hand.
As the Pork Producer's Council puts it, this report simply does “not provide a nationally informative estimate of the true prevalence of the cited bacteria on meat.”