Bacterial contamination rife in retail store ground turkey

Bacterial contamination rife in retail store ground turkey
Ground turkey from retail stores is often contaminated with fecal bacteria, and in many cases the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, according to a report published in the June issue of Consumer Reports.

(HealthDay)—Ground turkey from retail stores is often contaminated with fecal bacteria, and in many cases the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, according to a report published in the June issue of Consumer Reports.

Researchers conducted a laboratory-based analysis of 257 samples of bought at retail stores nationwide to examine the level of bacterial contamination for Enterococcus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.

The researchers found that more than half of the packages of raw meat and patties tested positive for , and 90 percent of samples were contaminated with one of the five bacteria. Almost all the bacteria were resistant to one or more antibiotics. The levels of contamination in the ground turkey samples were 69 percent for Enterococcus, 60 percent for E. coli, 15 percent for S. aureus and 5 percent for Salmonella. About 80 percent of the Enterococcus and more than 50 percent of E. coli were resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics. Three samples were found to contain methicillin-resistant S. aureus. There was no difference in the level of in samples labeled "no antibiotics," "organic," or "raised without antibiotics," compared with samples without these labels; however, bacteria from samples with these labels were less likely to be resistant to antibiotics.

"Our findings strongly suggest that there is a direct relationship between the routine in animal production and increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria on ground turkey. It's very concerning that antibiotics fed to turkeys are creating resistance to antibiotics used in human medicine," Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., director of the food safety and sustainability group at Consumer Reports, said in a news release. "Humans don't consume antibiotics every day to prevent disease and neither should healthy animals."

More information: More Information

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

High levels of MRSA bacteria in retail meat products

Jan 20, 2012

Retail pork products in the U.S. have a higher prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) than previously identified, according to new research by the University of Iowa College of Public Health ...

Resistant gut bacteria will not go away by themselves

Jun 19, 2007

E. coli bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics will probably still be around even if we stop using antibiotics, as these strains have the same good chance as other bacteria of continuing to colonise the gut, ...

Recommended for you

In US, Ebola fears rise but most confident in response

46 minutes ago

After two health care workers in Texas were infected with Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient, a poll Tuesday showed a rattled US public that nevertheless stayed confident in the government's response.

'Humbled' NBC cameraman recovers from Ebola

1 hour ago

A US photojournalist said Tuesday he was grateful to be alive after the hospital treating him declared him now free of Ebola, in a minor victory over the virus that has killed more than 4,500 people.

User comments