A newly published study by researchers in Denmark and Ireland has found that antibiotic residues in meat may inhibit the growth of starter culture bacteria used to produce salami and other fermented meat products, but have less effect on pathogens.
The researchers found that levels of oxytetracycline and erythromycin within statutory limits in meat affected the production of lactic acid by starter cultures so that insufficient acidification occurred during fermentation. Pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli were more likely to survive in the finished product and create a safety hazard.
The authors of the study now plan to investigate whether the same effect could occur in commercial production facilities and to look at developing antibiotic resistant-starter cultures.
A report on the study can be found here.