Report Finds Dangerous Bacteria in Turkey: Everything You Need to Know Now

turkey burgerWhether you're making chili or burgers, you may occasionally opt to buy ground turkey over beef. But you might need to think twice about that now. Consumer Reports is saying that any ground turkey you buy at the supermarket is laden with potentially dangerous bacteria.

Six things to know about the research ...


  1. In their findings, more than half of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria.
  2. CR tested for five organisms -- enterococcus, E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, and campylobacter -- and at least one showed up in 90 percent of the 257 samples, reports CBS News. MRSA was also found in three samples. Ugh!
  3. The upshot: CR says most of the contaminants it found were resistant to common antibiotics and blamed the overuse of drugs in feedlots.
  4. The "good news": Bacteria found on products that had "no antibiotics," were labeled "organic," or were "raised without antibiotics" were resistant to fewer antibiotics, the analysis found. So, it seems to pay to buy meat that sports these labels.
  5. Unsurprisingly, the turkey industry has its own take on the what we should takeaway from the Consumer Reports findings. 
  6. But it never hurts to consider what CR's warnings and also pay extra attention to safe handling and preparation, which means buying meat just before checking out and placing it in a plastic bag to prevent liquids contaminating other products to prevent illness. Also be sure to wash all hands and surfaces that touched raw turkey.

Are you concerned by this news?

Image via Hajime Nakano/Flickr

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