Salmonella, the bacteria found in milk and meat products and a common cause of food poisoning, is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and may become difficult to treat in future outbreaks, government researchers warn.
Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control speculated that one factor may be the growing use of antibiotics in animal feed, although they could not pinpoint the precise reason for the increased resistance.
Dr. Kristine MacDonald, a former center researcher now with the Minnesota Health Department in Minneapolis, said the public need not be alarmed about the development. "There isn't any impending epidemic or anything."
About 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported to the center every year, but officials estimate that these represent only 10% of all infections. The most common sources of such infections are dairy products, especially raw milk, beef and chicken.