Antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in retail meats and domestic kitchens in Middle Tennessee

Emily Rotich, Tennessee State University


Recently, worldwide reports indicate the existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in raw meats. Antibiotic resistance in humans could be due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria from animal food sources to pathogenic bacteria of human significance. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and patterns of antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae from retail meats and domestic kitchens in Middle Tennessee. Meat samples (286) were purchased from local retail stores and analyzed for antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae . Environmental samples from 150 domestic kitchens were analyzed for antibiotic resistant bacteria. API 20E and Kirby-Bauer techniques were used for bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility tests, respectively. Retail meats from stores in middle income areas had a significantly higher (P <0.05) rate of Enterobacteriaceae contamination, compared to low and high income areas. Households within high income areas were found to have significantly higher (P <0.05) level of Enterobacteriaceae contamination, as compared to low and middle income areas. In the domestic kitchens, dish clothes had significantly higher (P <0.05) rates of contamination compared to counter tops, meat drawers, refrigerator handles, sink bottoms, and sink handles. E. coli (6.4%), Salmonella (6.1%), and Klebsiella spp (30.0%) were some of the bacteria isolated from retail meats. Shigella spp (0.7%), Enterobacter sakazakii (5.8%), and E. coli (0.2%) enteric bacteria were also isolated from domestic kitchens. Approximately, 86.3% of the Enterobacteriaceae isolates from retail meats exhibited multi drug resistance (MDR) including E. coli (100%), Salmonella (47%), and Klebsiella spp (97%). The highest antibiotic resistance observed in retail meats isolates was to erythromycin (100%), penicillin (89.0%), and ampicillin (65.8%). In domestic kitchen isolates, erythromycin, penicillin, and ampicillin had 100%, 97.5% and 77.0% resistance, respectively. Antibiotic resistance patterns including Am-Er-Pe, St-Er-Pe, and Te-Er-Pe were displayed by isolates from retail meats and domestic kitchens. Kanamycin, gentamycin, and chloramphenicol were the most effective antibiotics against all bacterial isolates. Results from this study suggest retail meats and domestic kitchens to be significant sources of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic and commensal bacteria. Therefore, there is need to educate consumers on safe food handling practices.

Subject Area

Food Science|Animal sciences

Recommended Citation

Emily Rotich, "Antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in retail meats and domestic kitchens in Middle Tennessee" (2010). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1476505.