Tags: ground | turkey | study | bacteria

Ground Turkey Study Finds Rampant Fecal Bacteria Contamination

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 01:34 PM

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More than half of ground turkey samples tested by Consumer Reports had less fat and less calories compared to ground beef, and also contained an additional ingredient: fecal bacteria.

The consumer magazine also found that 90 percent of the samples contained one or more of five types of bacteria -- salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, enterococcus, and campylobacter.

"Adding to the concern, almost all of the disease-causing organisms in our 257 samples proved resistant to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to fight them," the magazine said.

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Three samples contained methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus which can cause fatal infections, according to Consumer Reports.

The 257 ground turkey samples included both packages of raw ground meat and patties and were collected from retail stores nationwide, according to Consumer Reports.

The National Turkey Federation released a statement criticizing the findings.

"[The NTF] strongly disputes the misleading findings of a Consumer Reports article about ground turkey, which makes a number of alarming claims based on an extremely small sampling of ground turkey products," according to the statement and reported by CBS News.

"Consumer Reports had the opportunity to foster a serious, thoughtful discussion about food safety, but instead it chose to sensationalize findings and mislead people," NTF President Joel Brandenberger told the Wall Street Journal.

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On Tuesday, the American Meat Institute joined the NTF in its criticism of the report.

"[While] the magazine chooses to focus today’s story on four bacteria their labs did find, the more important story is about the pathogenic bacteria of public health concern that they didn’t find or found at remarkably low levels," its statement said.

Related stories:

Sausage Recalled: Smithfield Pulls 38,000 Pounds of Pork Roll

Manda Meat Recall: Tons of Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey Harbor Listeria?

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