Infographic: How Farms Contribute to Superbugs

Individuals eating a plant-based diet should be aware that, when considering food safety and E. coli outbreaks, vegetables and fruits can be as potentially dangerous to eat as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or dairy.

Its not that the fruit or vegetable itself is dangerous.  But, any fruit, vegetable or plant can become infected with E. coli - a bacteria found in the intestines of farmed and other animals and their waste.

So, how do vegetables and fruits get infected?  The short-answer is cross-contamination.

This infographic entitled "How Farms Contribute to Superbugs" illustrates in a simple, straight-forward manner how antibiotics used on factory farms hurt every one's (animal and human) health.

Just as importantly, it also illustrates some of the ways livestock agriculture causes crops and produce contamination:
  • Low doses of antibiotics are put into animal feed and water to spur growth and ward off illness
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacteria develop in the guts of the animals
  • Bacteria from the animals' guts get onto meat during slaughtering and processing
  • Animal waste contaminated with bacteria migrates off farms:
  • Flies and farmers carry it away
  • Exhaust from barns blow it into the air
  • Manure-based fertilizer taints crops
  • Humans handle and eat the meat and contaminated produce, breathe the air and get antibiotic-resistant bacteria on their skin or in their bodies that cause serious, hard-to-treat infections

Further Reading:

Infographic Source:  Redbook

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