Study Highlights Presence of Fecal Bacteria in Ground Turkey

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A new report from the Los Angeles Times details Consumer Reports’s recent testing of ground turkey available from retailers around the country.  Their results were somewhat shocking:  more than 50% of the ground turkey analyzed was found to contain at least some amount of fecal bacteria.

60% of the products tested were shown to test positive for E. coli, while more than nine out of ten of the samples tested positive for E. Coli, Salmonella, or some other type of bacteria.

To compile these results, 257 patties and ground turkey products were sampled from a large handful of states.  There were five bacteria types that Consumer Reports was looking for during the tests.

In many cases, this wasn’t just garden-variety bacteria, either, but bacteria that has proven to be resistant to antibiotics, a problem we’ve previously discussed on this website.  Of the bacteria that was uncovered, a healthy majority were shown to resist the very antibiotics that have long been designated as a treatment for a foodborne illness.  The worry is that these resistances are being developed because of a steady stream of antibiotics being given to livestock to promote growth.

Not all parties were pleased with the study, particularly the National Turkey Federation.  They claimed that the results are misleading and sensationalistic.