Ground turkey study reveals high fecal bacteria levels

A lab analysis of ground turkey by Consumer Reports has turned up startlingly high levels of fecal bacteria in mass-produced ground turkey, including several brands that are either available or produced in and around Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

According to the study, 90 percent of the samples taken tested positive for one of five different types of bacteria and more than half of those samples contained some sort of fecal bacteria.

The study, which involved 257 samples from 34 different distributors, concluded that 69 percent of the samples tested positive for Enterococcus and 60 percent of samples found levels of E. coli. Both of those specific bacterium are closely associated with fecal contamination.

On a local level, ground turkey branded by Harris Teeter and Giant, both of whom have multiple locations within the greater D.C. area, were in a group that tested highest for E. coli.

Other brands tested as part of the study that are available locally include Perdue, Jennie-O, Safeway, Wegmans, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. You can see the specific results of all of these brands here.

Check out more from the Consumer Reports study here.