by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:
The next time you throw a thick, juicy burger on the grill, keep this in mind: almost all ground beef on the market is contaminated with dangerous fecal matter. The news comes as researchers find horse meat and other undeclared species in products labeled ‘ground beef.’
Thank Consumer Reports for this stomach-turning piece of news. Their investigators recently gathered 300 packages containing 458 pounds of ground beef purchased at stores in 26 cities and found that every single one contained fecal contamination.
Any meat can make you sick if not cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, but beef is especially dangerous because cows raised on crowded feedlots generally have more feces on their skin, and bacteria in the fecal matter gets mixed in with the rest of the meat during processing. Bacteria from one cow can wind up mixed in with that of many other cows. Are you nauseous yet?
The presence of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” was also discovered in some of the meat, though grass-fed organic beef –which tended to have less bacteria overall – contained far fewer of the pathogens.
While there’s no “safe” beef from such contamination, the researchers say your best bet is to purchase sustainably-raised beef when possible, and always make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
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