Supermarket Meats May Be Causing Drug-Resistant UTIs, So It Might Be Good To Rethink What's In Your Grocery Cart

Today in horrifying and gross news, new research suggests that drug-resistant urinary tract infections are linked to meats we buy at supermarkets. Go ahead and let that sink in for a minute. As if getting a UTI isn't bad enough, now we have to worry about UTIs that refuse treatment — all possibly because of something sitting in our grocery carts.

For the past two decades, doctors have been puzzled by the increase in antibiotic-resistant UTIs, which make up a growing portion of the estimated 8 million UTIs suffered in America each year. While most UTI infections can be treated with antibiotics, certain extreme cases are harder to fight and can require treatment via an IV. Some UTIs may even lead to blood stream infections with fatal consequences. A UTI with E. coli that's antibody-resistant can, in some cases, lead to sepsis, which kills 40,000 Americans a year.

George Washington University microbiologist Dr. Lance Price had a hunch that these drug-resistant infections might be caused by drug-resistant pathogens that come from the antibiotics fed to ill-fated animals. As PBS Frontline reports, Price conducted his research in Flagstaff, Arizona, periodically testing supermarket meats for antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could end up on consumers' hands, counters, or in mouths if the meat was undercooked.

Though Price’s work has not yet been peer reviewed, he has linked 100 of his 12,000 sample infections to supermarket meats, and 25 of those were found to be drug-resistant. And while his work cannot conclusively connect the Flagstaff samples to the antibiotics used on farms, Price says that the genetic relatedness of his findings leaves him with little doubt that the two are connected.

So ladies, be forewarned: Cook your meat fully and wash your hands and counter thoroughly when handling meat. The last thing you want is to end up in a hospital bed because a dead chicken irritated your vagina.

Image: Flickr/Roland Tanglao; Giphy