The Food Standards Agency has said that a new strain of the superbug MRSA is yet to be found in UK food producing animals and proper cooking will destroy it.

A report published by the Soil Association on Monday (25 June) highlighted a new strain of the bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has developed amongst intensively farmed pigs, chickens and other livestock, especially in the Netherlands, where it has spread to some farm workers and their families.

“The Agency is aware of this issue and we are keeping a watching brief on developments across Europe,” said Paul Cook of the Food Standards Agency Microbiological Safety Division.

“However, this is already being considered jointly by a number of Government agencies. Any possible emerging risk in the UK will be assessed, and appropriate action will be taken.

“We have only just received the report from the Soil Association, which we will examine in detail.”

The agency’s advice on avoiding food poisoning bacteria applies equally to any strain of MRSA, it stressed.