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Ground Turkey May Have Fecal Matter According to a New Study

Posted on May 2, 2013

A lab analysis of ground turkey bought at retail stores across the country found more than half of the packages tested positive for fecal bacteria, according to Consumer Reports. The samples came from retailers in 21 states and 27 different brands.Skinless Ground Turkey - Frozen

Channel 2’s Diana Davis said the tests were looking for salmonella, staphylococcus aureus enterococcus and campylobacter. Ground turkey is touted as a lower fat and calorie alternative to burgers.

According to the magazine, more than half of the ground turkey samples it tested were contaminated with fecal bacteria and other germs that can cause illness.

“Here was a very large percentage of these ground turkeys that had these bacteria in it. They can be very dangerous,” said Atlanta registered dietitian David Orozco.

Conyers resident Sherry Smith switched her family from ground beef to turkey.

After a previous turkey recall in 2011, she told Channel 2 Action News she was convinced contaminated turkey made her and her family sick.

“I don’t know what it was but it immediately took me down. I won’t be buying it. I don’t want to go through that again,” Smith said.

Consumer Reports says more than half of turkey samples it tested were contaminated with fecal bacteria. Ninety percent with one or more other types of disease-causing organisms.

The turkey industry disputes the report. It calls it alarmist.

In a statement on its website, the National Turkey Federation said, in part it strongly disputes what it calls misleading findings. It says it makes a number of alarming claims based on an extremely small sample of ground turkey products. Consumer Reports had an opportunity to foster a serious and thoughtful discussion about food safety, the website said. Instead it chose to sensationalize findings and mislead people, according to the website.

The magazine reported high levels of certain pathogens on the samples tested, but it is important to note that the two most prevalent, enterococcus and generic e-coli are not considered sources of foodborne illness”

Turkeys, like other livestock, are often given low doses of antibiotics to keep them healthy.

Consumer Reports cites that as another health concern.

The Food and Drug Administration and other organizations say antibiotic use is spreading the incidence of germs that are resistant to antibiotics, causing possible health problems in humans who get infected.

Orozco says there’s often no way for consumers to tell if the meat they buy has been contaminated since many meat and poultry products aren’t tested.

“The short answer is probably not. The ability to inspect facilities can be difficult,” he said.

Some bacteria are killed at higher temperatures. Experts remind us to use a meat thermometer and cook to a temperature of 165 degrees.

If you or someone you know has been hurt or sick from recalled food or any product, please contact a personal injury lawyer at Accident Attorney’s Group. They will assist you with your case for free until your settlement arrives.

 

 

 

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