I don’t eat much red meat, but I eat a lot of turkey. So this report was especially disturbing to me.
The Wall Street Journal ”Corporate Intelligence” blog reports an analysis of ground turkey available at retail stores nationwide by Consumer Reports concluded over half of packages of ground meat and patties contained fecal bacteria. Some samples also contained salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and other germs. 90 percent of tested samples contained some sort of bacteria. What’s worse is that many of the germs showed a resistance to typical antibiotics. The magazine contributed this immunity to overuse of antibiotics in meat production facilities.
Reuters reports the consumer watchdog group sampled ground turkey from 27 different brands. The USDA has found similar contamination by antibiotic resistant germs in turkey, ground beef, pork chops and chicken in a 2011 test. Consumer Reports believes the bacteria’s resistance to drugs is “a major public health threat.”
CBS News quotes Dr. Urvashi Rangan, director of the food safety and sustainability group at Consumer Reports, as saying in a press release, “Our findings strongly suggest that there is a direct relationship between the routine use of antibiotics 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.” The study also found that bacteria located in “products that had ‘no antibiotics,’ were labeled ‘organic,’ or were ‘raised without antibiotics’ were resistant to fewer antibiotics.”
Other sources reported in this story include Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Houston Chronicle ”Health Zone” blog.
From the American Association for Justice news release.